Death From Above / Murray A. Lightburn

Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC, May 29

Photo: Taylor Ferguson

BY Brayden TurennePublished May 30, 2019

Death From Above, the dynamic duo of Jesse F. Keeler and Sebastien Grainger, descended on Commodore Ballroom, with blasts from the past, and revelling in where the explosive two-piece are today in their musical career.
As part of the band's current Heads Up! Is Now tour, which celebrates DFA's  gruff-sounding roots of their 2002 demo, Heads Up, with the six songs being played in their entirety before tapping into the newer material of their subsequent three full-lengths.
The night's proceedings were a veritable retrospective on the evolution of DFA's sound, showing off how much the band have changed over the years, as well as how they have gratefully remained the same. Following the playthrough of Heads Up, the crowd was sentimentally bludgeoned with songs like "Trainwreck 1979," "Nomad" and "Freeze Me," among many others. The two Toronto punks definitely were not stingy with their time, coming back for a two-song encore with "Right On, Frankenstein" and a sped-up replay of demo track, "Dead Womb."
The night didn't begin with an explosion of noisy bass riffs and smashing drums, though. On this particular tour, Death From Above have recruited friend and Dears frontman, Murray A. Lightburn, as the opening act. Besides from being close friends with the band, it was later illuminated by drummer/vocalist, Grainger, that seeing Lightburn perform live was the precursor to his own drive to pursue a path in music. Thank you, Mr. Lightburn.
Murray Lightburn's opening set was a strange offset to the main attraction. A quiet acoustic folk set that, while very well performed, seemed to only pressurize the mounting anticipation for DFA's imminent arrival, which was even more lethal when contrasted with Lightburn's own performance.

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