Operators The Silver Dollar Room, Toronto ON, May 9
Published May 10, 2014Operators is the new project by Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade, the Handsome Furs, and, most recently, Divine Fits. Anticipation ran high at last night's show, as the band had only played in public two times before — once the previous night at the same venue, and another time in Columbus, OH, over the winter. Boeckner took the stage with Devojka, both of them behind a mountain of electronics, and Divine Fits bandmate Sam Brown on drums.
Fans of the Handsome Furs and Boeckner's contributions to Wolf Parade will feel at home with Operators' sound, as it lays impeccable Springsteen-like hooks over driving drum machines and synths. Boeckner left his guitar aside, allowing him to focus on delivering an intense vocal performance. This is perhaps the most accessible music he has ever written, as it eschewed both Wolf Parade's complex arrangements and Handsome Furs' occasionally dissonant and weighty beats.
They were joined at the end of the night by Dave Prowse and Brian King of Japandroids on drums and guitar, and Dustin Hawthorne of Hot Hot Heat on bass, to perform the classic Wolf Parade song "Shine a Light." Their loud, energetic rendition, while not the cleanest, was a final reminder that Boeckner can write soaring pop-rock anthems with the best of them.