Junior Boys / Max Tundra Mod Club, March 29 Toronto, ON
Published Apr 03, 2009Along with getting a plethora of skinny-jean clad butts onto the dance floor, indie dance redefined the way electronic artists are presented live. Gone are the days of the anonymous DJ twiddling knobs with only a headlamp for light. Instead artists are in the spotlight giving dance culture-wary North Americans a gateway into the genre, a fact reinforced by the mixed bag audience at Junior Boys' packed gig to promote the release of their new record Begone Dull Care.
Standing at about five-feet-five with short thinning hair, opener Max Tundra quietly sauntered onstage looking like your co-worker two cubicles over. However the image was quickly shed as he unleashed his IDM-funk freak-outs onto a curious audience, dropping tracks from both last year's Parallax Error Beheads You and 2002's Mastered By Guy at the Exchange. Despite a crappy mix that put his vocals up way to high in the mix and threatened to turn his set into a karaoke jam, Tundra won over the crowd with his enthusiastic, herky-jerk dance moves and MJ-vocal styles.
Junior Boys live is a much different beast than their recorded output. On record their blips and bleeps and Jeremy Greenspan's voice are condensed into one thin sound. Live however, the duos individual parts, augmented by a live drummer, are exposed creating a muscular, full bodied sound propelled by Greenspan's surprisingly soulful voice. They worked their way through a dozen tunes, finishing with crowd favourite "In The Morning."
With a crystal clear mix and a warm audience reaction to each song, the only real complaint was the duo's inability to create momentum due to long between song breaks and uninspired onstage banter. Just because the spotlight is on the artists doesn't mean the artists feel comfortable in it.