The GOASTT / Fat White Family Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON, May 8
Published May 09, 2015Raucous London rockers Fat White Family have become notorious for their sweaty, chaotic live performances. The people wanted to know: Would their show last night at the Horseshoe Tavern live up to the hype? (Spoiler: Yes, duh, of course it would. Why wouldn't it?)
They opened with "Auto Neutron," a song that always sounded a little tepid on their Champagne Holocaust album but came to life onstage. It was a song meant to be performed live, with a deep bass line that vibrates in the pit of your stomach layered under a twang-y guitar and reverb heavy vocals.
The rest of their set included their trademark untrademarkable songs that combine elements of psychedelia, blues, funk, drone and folk, yet they managed to make every track into an event, designed to take the crowd to the moon and back down to earth in time to cause a ruckus. Frontman Lias Saoudi seemed intent on proving he was nobody's darling, hocking loogies onstage and moving like he was having a seizure. Clothes only served to restrict him; he ended the set still wearing his skinny jeans, but they were so far down on his skinny white ass they seemed superfluous.
Though they were better suited to the Bovine Sex Club (where they played the night before) where they could be their louder, grimier, dirtbag selves, one gets the sense that Fat White Family could still thrive playing a show in a grocery store.
The GOASTT, a band consisting of fashion model Charlotte Kemp Muhl and Sean Lennon (allegedly his dad was a musician of some sort?), followed suit. The two met years ago at Coachella and became a couple, and their band name is an acronym for the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, which was the title of a play that Kemp Muhl wrote when she was seven, and oh god everything about this band would be unbearably trendy and adorable if they didn't also happen to be really phenomenal musicians.
The duo was joined by a large backing band on a range of instruments who for sure should be credited for finessing and enhancing the fronting duo's sound, but Kemp Muhl and Lennon proved that they could hold their own with trippy, sophisticated acid trips of songs. Kemp Muhl's pretty vocals turned their sound into a haunting, immersive experience, and Lennon shredded on the guitar, almost daring people to make comparisons to his father (Not that I would do that. I mean, could you Imagine?).
The set peaked with the penultimate song "Moth to the Flame," which Lennon introduced saying, "We have a very kinky video on the Youtube, the Wetube. Satanic cannibals. You should check it out."
The song started off serenely enough before escalating into a cacophonous wall of noise. A friend I was with remarked, "I feel like the ecstasy just kicked in," before adding, "And I'm not even on ecstasy."