tUnE-yArDs Massey Hall, Toronto ON, June 19
Published Jun 20, 2014With a black light shining down and the band sporting day-glo face paint, tUnE-yArDs dove straight into "Hey Life," which was quickly followed by "Gangsta," making for a decidedly bouncy start. After a short period it became clear that tUnE-yArDs were determined to be one of the most energetic acts at the festival. Not only was bandleader Merrill Garbus constantly drumming while singing, shaking and playing keyboard, her two backing singers alternately danced and banged sticks throughout the show.
Garbus made great use of effects by feeding simple beats, vocals and ukelele into a loop station to make the building blocks of a song and then play live over them. This was most effective on "Powa," on which everyone left the stage, except for the bassist, leaving Garbus to display her unbelievable talent at cobbling tiny elements together to create a fully functional — and unconventional — track from scratch.