The Legendary Pink Dots Lee's Palace, Toronto ON - May 29, 2004

Sometimes it takes a modest approach for a band to establish confidence. In the Legendary Pink Dots' case, a plain black backdrop, some coloured stage lights and four artists exhibiting their talent was all that was needed. No opening act, no stage banter about how great it is to be in Toronto, just their distinguished avant-garde tribute to sound. While many evenings at Lee's involves thunderous rock and drunken clamour, this event brought forth a scene more comparable to a coffeehouse. Gaps between songs were not replaced by the typical concert din but instead highlighted the crowd's quiet breathlessness of anticipation. Despite touring to promote The Whispering Wall, the show was far from being strictly business; it was a labour of love. LPD are known for an eerie style, blending banging guitars with atmospheric keyboards, jazz-type melodies and poetic lyrics, none of which was lost live. The Silverman's mad-scientist keyboard antics inspirationally mixed with Edward Ka Spel's passionate display of vocal talent. And Neils Van Hoornblower's ominous woodwind manipulations made the show memorable (in particular when he was playing saxophone while wandering to the back of the bar, and his successful attempt at playing two instruments at once). Although performing many songs from their new album, some standards were added too, including an attention grabbing delivery of "The Third Secret." Overall, the band's efforts proved why they are hugely influential in various music scenes (members have collaborated with the likes of cEvin Key and Tippy Agogo), yet there were no inflated egos present. LPD are the types to mingle with their audience after a show or take time to talk with a passing fan. It is precisely this lack of pretension that leaks into their music, a fact that keeps the band relevant, even after 24 years.