Chad VanGaalen Great Hall, Toronto ON June 18
Published Jun 19, 2011Oh, Chad. Calgary's most beloved indie export puts on as idiosyncratic a show live as he does on record, times ten. Wielding some sort of homemade guitar from the future (complete with inexplicable rope dangling from its end) and explaining how he was "shit on by a baby" earlier in the day, VanGaalen charmed the pants off a packed, disgustingly humid Great Hall. A revue from new LP Diaper Island began the show, with "Do Not Fear," "Peace on the Rise," "Heavy Stones" and a touching rendition of "Sara." Set highlights "Replace Me" and "Freedom for a Policeman" were even more heavy-hitting than on record, but it was older songs, such as the haunting "City of Electric Light" that garnered the best audience reactions. By the end of his long set, VanGaalen was getting sloppier, but on the power of charm and a perfect setlist, he more than got by.