Kidstreet’s Cliff Snyder gets some serious hang time during the band’s performance at Silent Shout on April 29.
The Silent Shout series, launched last year at the now-shuttered Teranga nightclub by Alt Altman and Andrew Pulsifer, focuses on indie electronic acts or rock acts that encourage listeners to shake their tail feathers. The monthly Teranga residency is in the process of morphing into a regular larger-scale concert series, moving around to different venues. For their first big show, this time at the Garrison, the programmers brought back three of the more popular headliners from last year’s run—a sort of “best of” showcase (notwithstanding the fact that Kidstreet had their previous show cancelled hours before they were to play due to the abrupt closure of Teranga, and also that the night was Kashka‘s debut).
We were excited to finally see Kidstreet again, after that last unfortunate cancellation, and also to see Powers and Kashka for the first time; Foxfire, who have a well-deserved reputation for a hot live show, were further icing on the cake. With four bands on the bill, it was going to be a bit of a marathon, though we weren’t dancing nearly as much as the energized crowd for most of the night (it’s difficult to do so with a pen and pad in your hands).
10:15 PM: The back (or main) room of the Garrison is starting to fill when we arrive, shortly after the start of the first act, Kat Burns‘ new project Kashka. The Forest City Lovers frontwoman credits James Bunton (Ohbijou, Light Fires) for helping her arrange and record the two tunes on her Bandcamp site, but for this first public performance, it was Burns on lead vocals and xylophone, supported by Chantale Renee on keys and backing vocals.
10:37 PM: By their last song, the two ladies on stage have gotten the intrigued crowd to dance a bit; Burns has been a tad timid in her delivery up until their finale, but we like what we’ve heard.
11:00 PM: The lights dim, several black lights shine onstage, Powers take their places, and the crowd surges forward. There’s a lot of people here to see this new incarnation of The Ghost is Dancing.
11:11 PM: Midway through their second tune, the tempo changes, and the crowd is starting to move to the rhythm. Our first impression is of early performances by The Cure, when they were more energetic. We’ve already put our earplugs in, which is, for us, a compliment to the band.
Powers showed a flair for the dramatic in their set, turning off most of the stage lights.
11:18 PM: Powers has a mix of material here, and this third tune, slower-paced and more grandiose, has tinges of British Sea Power (to use a more recent reference point), particularly with the reach for the epic. The crowd enthusiastically applauds the song at its conclusion, though some in the audience seem a bit restless; they came here to dance.
11:23 PM: The dancers are happy again, losing themselves in Powers’ first single, “Second Summer.” There’s a line in the tune that goes, “We’re not the same, anymore,” that makes the differentiation from The Ghost is Dancing and its material abundantly clear.
11:35 PM: Powers finishes up their set with another anthemic rock tune. By now, the Garrison is packed, and with two more bands to come, it’s going to be a late night!
Foxfire brings the funk.
12:05 AM: Foxfire, a five piece, have more of a funk influence than the other bands on tonight’s bill; there’s a lot of bass and snare, and the packed room is definitely into it. More than half the crowd is moving.
12:24 AM: Foxfire’s lead vocalist Hannah Krapivinsky does sultry very well, and has powerful pipes to boot. She’s sharing lead vocals with bassist Neil Rankin on this song, “Lay it On” (the sole tune on their MySpace page). We’ve seen Foxfire rock out with a full horn section before, and while this set doesn’t quite match up with that, the crowd certainly doesn’t seem to think they’re not getting their money’s worth (those that didn’t sneak in—more on that later).
12:34 AM: Krapivinsky has taken the mic off its stand for the band’s final song. It’s a smart move; not so much because she’s dancing up a storm, but because she’s seemed a little locked up there behind her keyboard before now. She’s done a great job at keeping eye contact with the crowd, but she’s getting into this closing number a bit more, and it’s welcome.
Headliners Kidstreet took the stage at 1 a.m. to end the night on a high note (see image at top of post).
12:58 PM: Kidstreet finally take the stage and waste no time getting down to business. The three Snyder siblings seem intent on making sure every audience member goes home drenched in sweat and warmed up (although at this point, the Garrison is already very warm.) The audience is soon writhing and jumping—though none so high as Cliff Snyder.
1:11 AM: Cliff Snyder ends their second tune with a surreptitious whack of a balloon that’s been bouncing around since it was first tied to Kat Burns’ mic stand, sending it sailing over the heads of the crowd.
1:22 AM: Edna Snyder’s enunciation is, as always, jaw-droppingly fast. When she kicks it up a notch on the already blisteringly paced “Penny Candy,” her lips look like they’re in “fast forward” mode on a video. We’d have liked to have heard her mic turned up just a little bit, but the mix is good, all ’round.
1:35 AM: Kidstreet finish up their initial set, and come back for a warmly received encore, despite the late hour. It’s a great tune, not familiar to us, but then, the band said on their Facebook page earlier that they were debuting new material tonight.
Kidstreet vocalist Enda Snyder is a real “motormouth”; she keeps up with the band’s frenetic pace easily.
All told, the Silent Shout boys should be commended on putting together a terrific bill of up-tempo acts. For their next show, they’ll need to enlist more help at the door; even they seemed surprised at the crush of people in attendance and had trouble making sure everyone had paid and was stamped (a shame, since the money was going to the bands, that so many people tried to sneak past without paying cover). Even on a night featuring a sold out Rural Alberta Advantage/Hooded Fang concert at the Phoenix, the Garrison came close to capacity. Here’s hoping the next Silent Shout showcase (which Andrew and Alt promise will happen soon) is as stacked with talent as this one was.
Photos by Corbin Smith/Torontoist.