Röyksopp Lee's Palace, Toronto ON - March 14, 2003

Chalk it up to the unseasonably warm weather, or maybe genuine appreciation, but Nordic down-tempo duo Röyksopp were heartily welcomed by a full house of Toronto's well-groomed, khaki-clad elite. With the aid of a touring bassist and live percussion, Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland injected organic warmth into the glacial soundscapes of their debut full-length, Melody A.M. Set opener "So Easy" began with a barrage of electronic drum patter by Berge and synth melodies courtesy of Brundtland, who bore a striking resemblance to Blink-182 guitarist Tom DeLonge. Perhaps that explains Röyksopp's healthy sense of humour, witnessed in everything from Berge's "Super Operator" T-shirt to the playful laser and bomb sound effects during the preliminary bars of "Eple." Regardless, it was a refreshing change for a genre that tends to fall prey to a certain degree of pretension every now and then. Aside from the occasional emphatic "Thank you!," the duo spoke little during their hour-long set and focused on playing their respective instruments. During the few moments of stage banter, their voices were filtered through a vocoder, much like on their UK club hit "Poor Leno." That song in fact served as a closer not once but twice during the evening, as it re-emerged during the encore as a jubilant extended instrumental. Overall, Röyksopp's mesmerising performance allowed the audience to forget the troubling state of global politics — if only for a minute, an hour, an evening — and bask in the palpable healing power of music.