Metronomy / Class Actress Mod Club, Toronto ON October 26
Published Oct 28, 2011Folks who've been around long enough to remember Metronomy's ill-fated 2008 Toronto booking and the curious case of a disappearing soundman that left fans in the lurch have had a long wait to see the now-reconfigured four-piece live and in person. Those loyal supporters were repaid with interest, thankfully, during the 2011 Mercury Prize nominee's recent Mod Club stop in support of this year's expertly crafted English Rivera disc, as the UK band offered up a raucous affair made memorable by a heady set list of dance-floor-directed gems.
For the sweaty fever that would eventually ensue, however, things definitely took their time heating up, despite the best efforts of opener Class Actress. The duo brought a competent set of sensual, mid-tempo club grooves that, as is unfortunately rather typical in Toronto, earned little more than cordial post-cut applause from the largely statuesque locals. It's quite an odd scene when the only person moving in a packed dance club is the one holding the mic, and stranger still when that performer must wait until the end of each track to receive conformation that audience members are in fact enjoying themselves (which, by their response, they largely seemed to be).
With the Brooklyn-based twosome's satisfying opening entrée out of the way, the night's main course promptly took to the stage to deliver a punchy lead combo from their latest full-length, digging in their heals after a galloping "Love Underlined" to deliver a blistering stream of synth-rich goodness from across their catalogue. Drummer Anna Prior held down the accelerated rhythms as the three characters up front let their commanding personalities and trademark chest lamps shine. A mixture of bass man Gbenga Adelekan's falsetto backing vocals and infectious dance steps, Oscar Cash's quirky key strokes, and frontman Joseph Mount's inviting lead left lasting impressions, particularly on potent renditions of "Holiday," "The Bay" and a performance of "The Look" that had the crowd accompanying even the keyboard line.
Encore serving "Everything Goes My Way" allowed Prior her own moment in the sun, while sing-along closer "Radio Ladio" wrapped up the night in fitting form, the band having thoroughly shaken the room from its stasis with a showing that will no doubt have fans reaching for their iPods for just a few more licks in the days and nights to come.