Photographs by Sarah Rix
By the time I arrived at the Danforth Music Hall, Peace were already in the midst of their Canadian debut. It was a long time coming – they had originally been scheduled to play at NXNE in June, but dropped out shortly after the initial announce. They had also forgone playing a night earlier alongside tour mates St. Lucia and Two Door Cinema Club, both of whom played a more intimate Thanksgiving show at Toronto’s Mod Club.
Formed in 2009, the English band’s been drawing their fair share of critical acclaim and internet hype, touring with other much buzzed Brit-rockers like The Vaccines, Django Django, and Mystery Jets. Their debut – In Love – was released in March 2013 and drew much praise from the NME tastemakers.
There’s a reason why the NME eats this up; Peace play big, anthemic rock tunes that seem suited for any of the UK’s large festivals. Take, for instance, the four-piece’s third song of the night – “Follow Baby”, a number hugely Oasis like in its chorus with vocalist/guitarist Harry Koisser singing out “we’re going to live forever” as his brother Samuel provided a thundering bass line. “Bloodshake” also showed off the band’s ability to fill huge spaces, hazy guitars trading spaces with full-on drum roll rock outs care of Dominic Boyce. It was a big enough showing to mask the absence of guitarist Douglas Castle, his vacancy only noticeable because Harry quickly introduced his fill-in, Oliver (who had no problems fitting in, in large part thanks to his affinity for black clothes and long hair.)
“This has been absolutely lovely,” Harry told the crowd near the end of their opening set. Closer “Lovesick” was all you could want from a short, punchy guitar showing, the band leaving the stage to loud cheers from an already pretty busy Danforth. It was an impressive first appearance that should have come sooner – here’s to hoping we won’t have to wait even longer for Peace’s return.