Django Django Opera House, Toronto, ON, March 12
Published Mar 13, 2013Certain great things gain inestimable value when paired with other great things. For instance: wine with steak, Jamaican beef patties with chocolate milk, Voltron lions with other Voltron lions. So it was when, partway through standout single "Default," Django Django synth man Tommy Grace picked up a cowbell and started hitting it with a maraca. And therein lies the root of the Scottish quartet's charm.
Synthesizing disparate yet similar constituent parts and delivering the results with unrelenting persistence, the band have enjoyed plenty of hype of late. Live, the results created a mostly buoyant and playful set.
Destined for bigger stages, Django Django showed up at the Opera House with a big, venetian blind-aping light setup (also, matching shirts). Riding a kick drum and echo effects, "Introduction" began underwater. Unfortunately, "Hail Bop" struggled with precision as it faced a slightly muddy mix. Ditto "Storm."
Nevertheless, a mid-tempo "Firewater" got the proceedings on track, creating the axiom: when in doubt, couple a gigantic tambourine with a persistent bass; it works every time (i.e. once).
Highlight "Hand of Man" brought the cowbell to the fore, juxtaposing it with laser synths, a writhing bass and echo-effect vocals. A feat of layering, the Hot Chip-meets-Stone Roses track was simultaneously towering and intricate.
A sped-up rendition of the aforementioned "Default" (aka the happy marriage of cowbell and maraca) was, unsurprisingly, the evening's finest moment. Still, the "Fuckin' in the Bushes"-indebted "WOR" was a close second, benefitting largely from two-man percussion and scattered air-raid sirens.
Of course, one-record bands are tailor-made for Tuesday nights. Short, fun, and promising, it was a highly jubilant gig from a compelling act.