Caribou Garrick Centre, Winnipeg MB, April 13
Published Apr 14, 2015Bathed in the warm blue and purple glow of the group's uncomplicated but impressive lighting, the band's all-white attire wasn't a nod to the Winnipeg White Out and the NHL, but playoff-starved Winnipeggers were ready to claim Snaith as one of their own after he proclaimed "Go Jets Go" as he took the stage. While "Our Love" may have suffered slightly from a mix that was being adjusted on the fly, Snaith and his bandmates powered through any initial sound issues to lock into a celebratory Monday night dance groove that's been five years in the making.
Anchored by '90s-flavoured house chords and a rock-solid rhythm section that only grew more impactful when Snaith shifted from keyboards to drums for a number of songs, early extended versions of "Our Love," "Mars" and "Silver" set the tone for the rest of the night. Building to an early crescendo, it was easy to feel the impact that club culture has had on Caribou's material over the past few years. While firmly planted in the electronic world, the ability of Snaith and his collaborators to dive into meandering jams can't be understated.
There is a dialled-in looseness that can only come from time on the road and a willingness to explore the nuances of the songs — even simple components like tambourines or rim shots took on new life in the live setting. This attention to subtleties over the course of an evening were not the only aspect that gave Caribou's music its undeniable live character and texture; it also gave his songs a human feel that can't simply be replicated with drum machines, sequences and loops.
Despite drawing a crossover crowd that has been following him since his days as Manitoba, and it being a Monday night, there was a real eagerness to embrace the material from Swim and Our Love. In a rare occurrence at the Garrick, Snaith had the whole room (even those sitting in the balcony earlier in the show) on its feet, and even dancing in the aisles.
It's one thing to get the crowd wound up at Coachella; it's a whole other ball game to do it on a Monday night in the middle of the prairies. Whether it was the feel-good material, joyous synth chords or drum-heavy workouts during the closing sequence of "Your Love Will Set You Free," "Can't Do It Without You" and "Sun," Caribou made everyone forgive and forget that it had been five years since he last played in the city.