Published Sep 26, 2014The Drums are now a duo, yet that hasn't stopped Jonny Pierce and Jacob Graham from both making a new album and taking it on the road. Pierce and Graham originally formed the band together, adding friends to perform when needed until they solidified a lineup after the release of their 2010 self-titled debut. And so, they're now back to where they started to support their brand new third album, Encyclopedia.
Arriving in Toronto two days after the album's release, the band (with three new players in the mix) were subjected to a venue change from the sometimes cavernous Danforth Music Hall to the intimate and rather interactive Adelaide Hall. The move was an obvious windfall for the all-ages crowd, who were now able to get up much closer to the Brooklynites.
And the Drums were hospitable hosts, cranking out a 21-song set in approximately 70 minutes for a packed house. Understanding just how fresh Encyclopedia is, they were careful to pepper it amongst their best-known and -loved songs from The Drums and Portamento. This meant a steady pace of fast and slow tempos, which allowed Pierce to show off his inimitable mix of slow-motion poses and ingenious dance moves.
The new material held up to the old; the swooning romance of recent single "I Can't Pretend" and the effervescent "Kiss Me Again" were bookended nicely with a slower version of the melancholy "Days" and the twee '50s pop of "Book of Stories." But the youthful crowd had their favourites, losing their minds and singing along to "Best Friend" and matching the frenzy of the band during "Money."
Ending the set with "Wild Geese" proved to be a bit of a lull, though it managed to segue into the encore fittingly. Coming back on stage to "Don't Be A Jerk, Jonny," Pierce was anything but, ending with five songs lifted from the band's first ever release, the Summertime! EP. It was an uncharacteristic move for a band with a two-day-old album, but a real treat for long-time fans.
Of course this included the band's signature song, "Let's Go Surfing," which might not be their personal favourite, but was no doubt the fan favourite. The audience lost their minds, and Pierce fed into their love by vertically slithering around stage in formidable fashion.
Ending with their ballad "Down By the Water," the Drums delivered what was almost a perfect presentation of their affable indie pop. Leaving current single "Magic Mountain" out of the set was a bit of a head-scratcher, but not enough to hold against a band that gracefully gifted their fans 21 other songs.
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