Scissor Sisters Sound Academy, Toronto ON August 31
Published Sep 01, 2010Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears has mesmeric pectorals. Without consciously trying, the bare-chested singer had them reacting to downbeats and hopping along to disco grooves during his band's Sound Academy set. Even his co-lead-vocalist Ana Matronic noticed them, commenting in detail on potential cup size while delivering a verbal man-ogram. Shears's chest summed up his band's greatest attribute: every constituent piece kept moving.
A perpetual-motion machine, the live act thrived on ebullience, no matter the venue's inherent - and not-so-funnily ironic - sound issues. From the outset - a blistering rendition of "Night Work" - the outfit sprinted out of the gate, smiling and vamping accordingly, with nary a slowdown.
Even quasi-ballads like the melodramatic "Fire with Fire" didn't stay put, engorging to crescendo. Similarly, "Something Like This" started staid, yet ramped up, ending in a big, shiny electro coda. Only the non-committal 1980s radio pop of "Whole New Way" caught the band napping, but the pause was brief.
Ringleaders Shears and Matronic kept the mood joyous, running in unison and throwing in robot-friendly, cleverly choreographed dance routines (the dual human sprinklers on "Something Like This" were particularly inspired). Additionally, much of the good mood came from guitarist Del Marquis's fret board, which playfully moved between funk lines (see "Take Your Mama") and disco runs (see "Any Which Way").
Throughout, drummer Randy Real did his best to battle Sound Academy's low-end-sucking setup, sporadically winning out (it's hard to keep a kick drum down). Regardless, Shears's nipples kept time when Real's kit couldn't.