Howie Beck / Dan Griffin The Mod Club, Toronto ON April 1
Published Apr 03, 2009While April Fool's Day is supposed to end on noon of that day, it got extended for the audience's benefit because, despite the excellent quality of music, there were some wacky goings-on accompanying the decidedly un-wacky sound of Howie Beck.
Something felt amiss by the doe-eyed couple that stared intently at each other in the middle of club, but, having spent hours stuck behind drunk couples making out, I discounted them as "those people."
Also, the earnest and lovely Dan Griffin gave me something else to think about. With an excellent emotive voice and a rambling Dylan-esque charm, he was far more enjoyable than any shaggy haired hippy with a guitar should ever be. With a few more solo years honing his melodic edge - and cutting down on the rambling stories - he could nip the heels of Iron & Wine.
Let's not forget about the weird couple, for, only after Howie Beck and his fine band came on stage and started into the tight and affecting "Flashover" did they have their time to shine. As Beck played, a spotlight shone onto the couple and, lo and behold, someone was shooting a video. Well, they couldn't get a better backing soundtrack as Beck and his band were in fine form, showcasing his lush, mature pop songs with a grace that only comes from confident career musicians.
"If I Ever Came Home" got a particularly inspired airing, with an extended coda that easily wowed the crowd. The only blip was going from the catchy "Don't Put Your Arms Around Me No More" to a drum battle between Beck and his drummer, which was more confusing than entertaining. Still, it's hard to complain about great music played by great musicians... even with creepy couples present.