The Stills Opera House, Toronto ON - October 3, 2004

On Thanksgiving weekend, the Stills played a show at Toronto's Horseshoe Tavern in which, if one were so inclined, it would have been safe to swing a dead cow. The show was an immitigable success but there was one thing missing: an audience. Nearly one full year and many sold-out shows later, the Stills found themselves in a larger (sold-out, all-ages) venue playing to an odd mélange of indie kids, Edge 102 ox-people, middle-aged pederasts and, of course, schools of the under-aged that pop out of spectre-driven sedans by the dozen. All of whom submitted their apposite hosannas while the Montreal quartet (plus touring keyboardist) played a consistently good set amid much reverb, canned smoke and "thank yous." Still touring their first album, Logic Will Break Your Heart, the band promised a new LP by their next visit, which is just as well, as they've mastered their existing material. "Ready for It," "Animals and Insects" and "Let's Roll" formed the crux of their set, sounding ebullient and mildly extemporised with vocal tricks and impromptu not-quite solos signalling a confidence emboldened by success. Front-man Tim Fletcher showed the most aplomb, laying his vocals over bare bass lines and engaging between-song crowd flattery. But an encore including "Killer Bees" and "Yesterday Never Tomorrows" seemed to steal the show, for better or worse. The former proving to be the band's most exciting song, while the latter saw drummer Dave Hamelin team up with Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew on vocals (leaving the beats to a drum machine). This seemed fun… for them… for the first few minutes.