Wavelength 400 Festival The Theatre Centre, Toronto ON February 16

The Theatre Centre of the Great Hall was transformed into a sort of psychedelic rock warehouse. Its design features an upper balcony and bleacher-style seats at the back of the floor for those less inclined to frolic or shuffle up front with the bands, who performed right on the floor with the audience; a refreshingly intimate touch that’d be nice to see more often. Telefauna got my attention quickly with their skanky dance fuzz. It’s impressive to see an electronic act that can really pull its shit off live, and these bookish Montreal funk machines were near flawless in their four-keyboard assault. Inventive drum loops triggered in real time kept a sense of interactive urgency and progression lacking from many straight dance or electronic acts. Their maturely composed electro pop was an extreme contrast to the adolescent meathead thrash-schlock of Dance Electric that followed. I had no idea there was such love for toneless basement-grade rip offs of early Deftones material in the hipster community. Thank god dd/mm/yyyy elevated the night with a set of their noisy, ADD math punk. It wasn’t much I haven’t seen the band do before, but these art freaks are always a good time, even if it actually does get a bit repetitive for music with prog leanings. Lullabye Arkestra are great on record, but I simply couldn’t tolerate their Motörhead-meets-Sabbath squall of indistinct crashing distortion live. The ear-splitting volume coupled with the copious clouds of fake smoke drove a number of concertgoers — myself included — out of the venue after only a few songs. What an unnecessarily disappointing climax to the inclusive community spectacle Wavelength 400 could’ve been.