Photographs by Dawn Hamilton.
The grand reunion trend continued last night bringing some extra heat to a city already baking in a late resurgence of summer. Los Angeles four-piece L7 returned to Toronto following a 15 year absence, managing to inspire a rabid fan base that almost filled the Danforth Music Hall. The opening act Sista Fista got the crowd on fire.
Thankfully the room was air-conditioned as the four ladies and thei9r devoted fan base tested the limits of this air-conditioning. In the end there was no system that could cool off the heat generated from the stage and on the floor.
Opening with “Deathwish”, L7 delivered an hour of their heavy rock, making those middle aged folks who had no cottages to flee to happy to stay in town.
Performing on a simple stage set-up (no backdrop, fancy lighting, strobes, etc.), L7 were tight and looked to be at ease with each other and their instruments. I did find that the sound, specifically the guitars were an issue at various times throughout the night with them buried in the mix. The energy of the crowd and the band made any sound issues more tolerable.
The band seemed to feed off the rabid energy of the room which took a noticeable turn towards apeshit with a ferocious “Fuel My Fire” and Smell the Magic highlight “Shove”. Donita Sparks and company seemed to have fun with the crowd, relating a makeup mishap with the heat reducing her cheap eye makeup into runny raccoon eyes.
Despite 6 albums under their belt, the night would focus on albums 2 and 3, playing most of 1992’s Bricks Are Heavy and a healthy dose of 1990’s Smell the Magic. While I’m sure there are some that could have listened to them all night, and to be honest, the energy, fun and delivery of the almost 20 songs they played, I probably could have stayed for another hour or two to catch more tunes.
But “Shitlist” brought the main set to a close as the crowd offered up various surfers before a short break and then encore that saw the airing of “Pretend We’re Dead” that saw the crowd reach their nirvana for the night and making everyone forget there was an air conditioner on in the first place.