Parallels Rivoli, Toronto, ON, March 19

ParallelsRivoli, Toronto, ON, March 19
Photo: Ian Gormely
Parallels debut, Visionaries, was a fantastic slab of propulsive synth-pop. But like even the most established artists in the mainstream adopting this sound, their follow-up, 2012's XII, felt like just another record in a crowded field. Not that it's affecting their live show; the Toronto three-piece are a well-oiled machine anchored by the propulsive drumming of Nick Dodson, who takes dance drumming to new heights, often stealing the spotlight from singer Holly Dodson, decked out in a black Stevie Nicks-inspired outfit. Parallels' set was technically flawless and the live drums gave them an extra oomph few bands in this field posses (bedroom producers, take note). But there was a detachment between the band and audience; their onstage banter and movements felt more rehearsed than inspired, and the audience's relative nonchalant attitude belied the mounds of thanks Holly heaped on them at set's end. Maybe it was just the wrong night, but Parallels seemed ready for something they're still searching for.