Cloud Nothings

Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON April 14

BY Stephen CarlickPublished Apr 15, 2011

If Cloud Nothings frontman Dylan Baldi is lacking one thing, it's patience. Just a year ago, the Cleveland, OH native hadn't a single record-label release under his belt; today, he has two full-lengths (one's a compilation of past work, the other's his eponymous full-length debut), a split cassette and more than a handful of seven-inches, the latest being a split with recent tourmate Toro y Moi. Live, it's the same story, multiplied tenfold.

Taking the stage right on schedule, Baldi and his bandmates wasted no time whizzing through "Turning It On" before launching straight into new single "Should Have," with nary a moment left for applause or banter. With just three musicians on stage, Baldi's band was built for efficiency, and they burned through 12 songs in less than half an hour to prove it.

Cloud Nothings' songs, which rarely reach the three-minute mark and never make it past four, were cut in half by the band's breakneck speed, but you would be hard pressed to find anyone in the audience complaining: a number of enthusiastic fans danced spiritedly in front of the stage, while even the most hardened show-goers literally risked their neck trying to nod appreciatively to the band's ludicrous tempo.

Cloud Nothings highlights "Understand at All," "Nothing's Wrong" and "Not Important" all got the live treatment, the last of which came dangerously close to being derailed by the band's speed; luckily, the trio had drummer Jayson Gerycz, who worked his kit like a metronome on the fritz, holding the set frantically together while Baldi yelped like a kid possessed. The band's youthful energy imbued older, lo-fi Cloud Nothings tracks like "Hey Cool Kid" and "Can't Stay Awake" with new life, and demonstrated their prolificness by treating the audience to new track "I Know."

It was a thrilling set, sadly cut short by the fact that the band's recently joined bassist only knew 11 songs. In the end, Baldi responded to a well-deserved ovation with one more song, a bass-less version of the frenetic "Leave You Forever," leaving the crowd rightly wanting more. But then, patience is a virtue... right?

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