The Breeders

Lee's Palace, Toronto, ON August 15

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The Breeders - Lee's Palace, Toronto, ON August 15
By Cam LindsayTwo weeks before she's due to play Virgin Festival Ontario with her other band the Pixies, Kim Deal brought her sister Kelley and the rest of the Breeders to the city for a much more intimate club show. With Jose Medeles on drums, Mando Lopez on bass and Cheryl Lyndsey on guitar and keyboards, the ever-changing 21-year-old band now appeared as though they'd all been together since the start.

Touring both last year's Mountain Battles and this spring's independently released Fate to Fatal EP, the alt-rock underdogs were definitely out to please their loyal fans, considering they opened with "Hoverin'" and "I Am Decided," both by the Deal sisters' long gone but not forgotten side-project, the Amps. From there on in, it became a run-through of the Breeders' four albums that, early on, gave the night its sweetest transition between the old and new with the heavenly melodies of "Divine Hammer" and the graceful "Night of Joy." That signalled a five-song mini-set of Last Splash, which naturally left the crowd elated.

Just like the album, "New Year" played the precursor to "Cannonball," which went over just like it did 15 years ago, complete with that hissing mic Kim popularized on the chorus. "Saints," however, gave the sweltering Saturday night its most memorable lines, announcing that "summer is ready" and it was "sticky everywhere." Discussion about who could roller-skate appropriately led into new head-nodding single "Fate to Fatal" and Title TK standout "Huffer."

But for the encore, Kim took over drums for a shambolic instrumental that felt like it was a lot more fun for the band than it was for the crowd. They rescued it, though, when Kelley dusted off her violin for the ultimate send-off, the country road anthem "Drivin' on 9." Inspiring some rollicking cheers and swaying, hopefully it didn't do the same for drivers, for Breeders fans certainly love their beer as much as they do their music.

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