Radius and Helena Toronto ON, March 11 to 14

This is how you seize and keep an audience's attention. Drawn in from outdoors by the opening squall of Radius and Helena's crushing 3:00 a.m. set, the lingering crowd seemed to know they were in for something special. Decked out in ambiguously gory zombie or car crash victim make-up, the band's sense of shoestring theatricality was appreciated. It helps that the group were utterly fucking awesome, channelling the controlled noise chaos and epic guitar jams of Sonic Youth, but creating an extended sense of gothic menace successfully navigating the terrain between mysterious and cheesy. Totally worth the 4:30 a.m. cab ride home.