Published Mar 15, 2010In a soft voice, Real Estate bassist Alex Bleeker told the crowd that this was the New Jersey band's last night in Canada and they wanted to have a good time. However, it's hard to say if they did.
The few times the group did speak — to thank the crowd or merely announce a song title — there was little crowd response, save for a few yelps and whistles. With the lack of audience interaction, Bleeker shot a look across the stage to guitarist Matthew Mondanile and pulled on his collar, as if to say "tough crowd." Despite that, the foursome put on an enjoyable show.
With only one full-length released (and a handful of singles), Real Estate didn't plow through a mixed tracklist of their 2009 self-titled album. They did play songs such as "Suburban Beverage," which by Real Estate standards was a bit rowdier than the recorded version, and "Fake Blues," a track that sounded as uplifting live as it does on record. But they also played three new songs. Two of them were in line with the rest of their material — highly reverberated vocals and guitars, end-of-the-neck guitar lines and tight bass and drum parts. On the other new track, though, Mondanile took over singing duties, relieving Martin Courtney's dulcet voice for a moment. It sounded a bit like Pavement mixed with Real Estate's sweet, laid-back "ready for a Sunday drive" tones.
They threw in a cover of Ariel Pink's "My Molly" as well, before ending with "Beachcomber," which finally elicited a full response from the crowd. The band looked as if they were actually enjoying themselves, although they matched the crowd's intensity by barely lifting their heads and rarely expressing visual emotion. However, Etienne Pierre Duguay was mesmerizing to watch behind the drum kit. He was constantly moving about, raising his sticks in the air like flares after hitting his crash cymbal and adding intricate fills where none existed before.
Real Estate put on a relaxing show that enhanced their already impressive material and it proved to be a good way to end the weekend, regardless of whether they loved their last night in Canada or not.