A Place To Bury Strangers / The Big Pink The Mod Club, Toronto, ON, March 24

A Place To Bury Strangers / The Big Pink The Mod Club, Toronto, ON, March 24
The Big Pink need to be applauded for having the guts to follow New York's loudest band, A Place to Bury Strangers. While the latter was the opening act, they were most definitely the luminaries of the night, blowing the brains — and eardrums — of the entire audience.

Cloaked in darkness with nothing but a strobe light escaping beneath him, APTBS lead singer and guitarist Oliver Ackermann violently slashed his guitar strings through gusts of fog and laser lights as if he was playing the last show on earth. As he stomped a few distortion pedals and swirled his guitar wildly around the stage, Ackermann hardly made eye contact with the crowd, as if to prove he was worthy of playing such despairing music.

The band came off like an even more amplified Jesus and Mary Chain, recreating their own '80s synth-pop sound with a nuance of shoegaze psychedelia. Ending their set in a blur of lights and floor-trembling sound, the last ten minutes were pretty much like watching the most epic thunderstorm you could imagine.

London's electro-rock duo the Big Pink were great in their own right, headlining with a little more crowd-friendly songs and gratifying all the girls in sight with popular hits like "Velvet" and "Dominos." Emerging from the ever-appropriate starburst of neon pink lights, they played most of the songs from their only album, A Brief History of Love, and possibly tried to channel My Bloody Valentine a little too much. Nonetheless, they still managed to create a sound all their own.