The Ducks Ltd. show at Quai des brumes was one of the most anticipated performances of this year’s Taverne Tour. With a packed sea of people in a sold out room, security and the Taverne Tour door crew had to be vigilant about capacity and turned away a number of people, even a few media personnel that had the highly coveted Pro Pass. But when Ducks Ltd. jumped on stage, the room was electric. “Hey, we’re Ducks Ltd. and we’re gonna play a few songs, well, lots of songs,” said lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Tom McGreevy.
The four piece jumped into a few older numbers from 2021’s Modern Fiction before announcing that their new album Harm’s Way was in fact out now. We were then witness to that record’s excitable single “Train Full of Gasoline,” with its many snappy riffs and fiery metaphor about a relationship on the verge of collapse.
Being up close to the Ducks Ltd. family was too much fun, with McGreevy’s wobbling dance moves and lead guitarist Evan Lewis’ aloof demeanour playing off each other with genuine spark. The glittering “Cathedral City” meshed spectacularly with the dusty, stained glass canopy windows in the venue as a crowd of people, probably turned away because it was sold out, gathered around the windows to peer in for a couple moments of the band’s hectic bliss.
The band was superbly tight (I guess that’s what playing a metric ton of live shows in Europe will do), never once slowing down on barnburners like “On Our Way to the Rave.”
The grooving bass riffs from Julia Wittman never stopped and mixed with Jonathan Pappo’s bombastic drums, the pair giving each song a continuous running momentum. The group ended the night with the tense, new wave-y favourite “18 Cigarettes,” but the crowd craved more, immediately shouting “One more song!” before the band even had time to put down their instruments. The Ducks crew hid out in the open, as there was no green room in the venue, looking at each other and pretending like they didn’t have another one in them. This little charade lasted maybe 30 seconds before returning to tear through “Harm’s Way” — if there’s one thing the members of Ducks Ltd. have, it’s energy.