The Barr Brothers Massey Hall, Toronto ON, June 20

The Barr Brothers Massey Hall, Toronto ON, June 20
Photo: Kevin Jones
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Opening for Spiritualized at Massey Hall is a pretty tall order, but the accidentally-Montreal-based Barr Brothers had the chops and elaborate set-up (a harp, banjo-playing drummer, kora, bass violin, fluorescent sound hose, stand-up bass and uh, bicycle wheel) to pull it off. The show acted as an early sneak peek of their upcoming album, Sleeping Operator (out October 7 on Secret City), though their retro folk and AM radio rock had the right amount of smoothness and intimacy to welcome any stranger. But they dug deeper, expertly slipping in unabashed influences as dominating as the Delta blues, classical and Appalachian folk music. It was hard to not imagine J Spaceman enjoying it as much as the rest if us.

Read our October 2014 cover story on the Barr Brothers here.