Concert Reviews

Disclosure at The Danforth Music Hall – January 14, 2014

Last night can be summed up by the two very enthusiastic and young gay boys who parked in front of me last night.  Dancing with wild abandon and hands in the air, one put his hands down probably to get a breather.  The other smacked him and urged “Keep dancing!”

One regret I have from attending last summer’s Osheaga Festival in Montreal was missing British dance duo Disclosure.  Not really a regret on my part as organizers had put the fresh face of British dance up against the vanguard of British dance, New Order.

2013 was a busy year for the young brothers – they released their debut, Settle, to rave reviews and found a commercial foothold following relentless touring.  2014 sees them doing their victory lap for my second favourite album of last year, which brought the boys and their high energy show to a hungry Danforth Music Hall last night.

The venue itself was baffling – why book a high energy dance act into a half-seated venue?  Who sat through that last night?  My best guess is Disclosure will be back soon enough into a bigger venue or part of some package, as this show sold out quickly and could have easily been booked into a much larger, dance-friendly venue.

But I digress.  While winter is only weeks into its icy grip, a very eager crowd roared to life when Guy and Howard Lawrence took the stage, bathing the venue in hues of blue and white, while they kicked the night off with “F For You”.  The very young and chatty crowd gradually warmed to the opening, but by the second song “When A Fire Starts to Burn” the gathered throng combusted and the place really got hot.  It was like we had all been hibernating for a year and Disclosure gave us our first exposure to heat, which is not really that inaccurate in a young 2014.

The light show was fantastic – strobes were never obnoxious, the lights were colourful and the stage projections while minimal were highly enjoyable and the perfect accompaniment to the set.  A very small gripe was the sound – underwhelming for about two thirds of the set, but this didn’t stop the dancing.

There wasn’t a dud in the 80 minute set with highlights including a mid-set that went through “Stimulation”, “Grab Her” and “White Noise”.  Following this, one of the boys declared the ceiling was raining chunks on their stuff.  They introduced one new track toward the end that was an absolute stormer, before closing their main set with the remix of Jessie Ware’s “Running”.

With an 11:00 pm curfew being an issue, the duo never left the stage, but closed the night with two of Settle’s more mellow tracks; “Help Me Lose My Mind” and “Latch” which generated the venue’s most synchronized pogo-ing.  The sweaty masses then shuffled out into the cooler climes of the outdoors.  I left the gig absolutely soaked, something that hasn’t happened in years.  While 2014 is very fresh, Disclosure have already set the bar very high for gigs this year.

Thanks to Embrace Presents for media access.

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Concert reviewer at Live in Limbo.

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