Twin Shadow Lee's Palace, Toronto ON June 18

Twin Shadow Lee's Palace, Toronto ON June 18
Ask pre-coronation Henry V: low expectations make it easy to astonish. Coasting into Lee's on a tsunami of hype, Twin Shadow didn't have the luxury of zero anticipation. Nevertheless, the band were unflappable. Playing to a packed and wholly engaged crowd, the New York outfit dropped one of the most rousing and exhilarating sets of the festival. On their debut, 2010's stunning Forget, the combo's moodiness was mesmerizing yet often ominous. Live, however, even the most sinister of tracks -- notably "Tyrant Destroyed" -- gained some goodwill. Charismatic and affable, songwriter and bandleader George Lewis Jr. showed off his underrated fretboard work while steering his bandmates through adroit time changes; of course, the crack rhythm section didn't hurt. Cuts like "Castles in the Snow," "Shooting Holes" and "Slow" enjoyed a cocktail of circling bass lines, shattering guitars and incisive keys, and the effect was beyond compelling.