Concert Reviews

The Box Tiger at The Horseshoe Tavern

My how people grow. Here at Live in Limbo, we conducted our first Capsule podcast interview with The Box Tiger: A band that is both local and from the United States. After having opened for Foster the People, The Box Tiger not only played Canadian Music Week but they opened for one of the biggest events on the bill: Brody Dalle. Much like how Live in Limbo’s repertoire has expanded, so has The Box Tiger’s power. The band came onstage, and Sonia Sturino strapped on a bright blue guitar like an absolute professional. She sang and rocked out like PJ Harvey, perhaps comparable with her album Stories of the City Stories of the Sea, while the rhythm section of the band played all over their instruments with intensity like Harvey’s earlier material (Rid of Me, for instance). Although comparisons can easily be made (as a compliment, easily), The Box Tiger are their own band and they got many fans out of their seats for the very first band of the night: Not an easy accomplishment.

What makes The Box Tiger stand out is just how connected each member is with their respective instruments. Everyone is trying something outside of a comfort zone, no matter what sound is bring brought to the table. Lauren Chan doesn’t just play beats: He throws in ghost notes and surprise cymbal crashes. Jordan Stowell is focused on stage with each note played to affect the audience, yet he is a barrel of laughs off stage. Cam Jones played a filthy bass tone but he added so much to the table in a similar vein to Kim Deal or Krist Novoselic. Sturino herself glided her guitar strums, ascended her vocals, and even busted out the odd thrilling guitar solo. This band is one of those rare exceptions that feels like everyone in the band is actually talented and has practiced their instruments outside of one’s usual comfort zones. If there is a metaphorical box many of us place ourselves inside, they are the tigers that shred the box open to reveal something more outside.

There was a lot of promise in their set last night, as many fans there for Brody Dalle were blown away and highly impressed with The Box Tiger’s performance last night (I’d call it an effort, but it seemed effortless for these up and comers). After meeting up with the band after their set and seeing their grounding humbleness, I can only hope they realize their capabilities at hand, especially with many audience members having told me they either came solely for The Box Tiger or they were incredibly surprised by them. Either way, there are many life changing events approaching this young-yet-experienced band; I can guarantee it.

About author

Former Film Editor & Music Writer at Live in Limbo. Co-host of the Capsule Podcast. A Greek/South African film enthusiast. He has recently earned a BFA honours degree in Cinema Studies at York University. He is also heavily into music, as he can play a number of instruments and was even in a few bands. He writes about both films and music constantly. You should follow him on Twitter @Andreasbabs.