Published Jan 01, 2006Toronto's Raising the Fawn took advantage of the packed house by performing a strong set, especially when lead singer John Crossingham sang in a high voice. They remind a little of Low but Raising the Fawn are a bit faster, heavier and not as sparse-sounding. For a three-piece, they really have a nice, full atmospheric sound. A friend hit on why the Wrens' shows are so good by commenting that "they are all heart." That heart manifested itself in the passionate, energetic playing and the charmingly modest and sincere stage banter that easily won over the audience. Their opening song, "The House That Guilt Built," was a good example of their adeptness at handling both the slow and the indie rocking moments with equal aplomb. As the night went on, the love started flowing as freely as the perspiration from bassist/front-man Kevin Whelan's every pore. On an emotional rebound from an apparently not-so-hot show in Montreal the night before, the band at one point proclaimed the Toronto debut we were witnessing was "the nicest day that we've ever had." The crowd was having a nice enough time and managed to get the band back on stage for a three-song encore that included some light moments, as Whelan broke the stool for his keyboard and had to play keyboards and bass simultaneously while sitting in a wheeled in office chair. A second encore ensued, cementing how refreshing it was to see a band that has been around for so long (13 years), and that has had its share of tribulations, still playing with a lot of joy and heart.