Concert Reviews

Kate Boy at Drake Hotel

Photographs by Sarah Rix.

Kate Boy’s thunderous “Northern Lights,” cropped up in 2012 alongside acts like Chrvches and Purity Ring, all twisting Knife-heavy synth a into electro-pop curiosities. Kate Boy’s euphoric, glassy pop stood out. The now-duo has continued to feed an insatiable appetite for chilly, cinematic electro-pop with a string of singles before the recent release of their highly-anticipated debut album, One.

Kicking off their North American tour at The Drake Hotel, Tuesday night with Brooklyn trio Aces, Kate Boy brought an arsenal of songs built on the same blueprint of spanning,  

The booming drums and sharp synths on opener and standout recent-single “Midnight Sun” and never quite coming down, as tracks “Lion for Real,” “Northern Lights” and “Higher,” continued to reach for the stratosphere. 

Akhurst’s emphatic vocals, eerily similar to Karin Dreijer Andersson, provided the needed warmth to their songs, despite at times being unable to reach the same dizzy heights as the rigid soundscapes being erected.  Turning shout-out choruses into emotionally wrought anthems, as Akhurst stated “Higher” brought to mind the recent legalization of gay marriage in the United States.

Elongated synths and large-than-life drums were as far as the duo strayed from their songs’ original compositions of boisterous shout-out chorus and laser precision synth-pop. The same imagination used to create One, could be applied to add new dimensions to their live presence, though anything lacking was easily smoothed over by Akhurst’s sheer enthusiasm and charm.

Thanks to Collective Concerts for media access.

About author

A music enthusiast, Tommy MacMurdo is a writer for Live in Limbo. Driven to discover music that ignites his imagination, he passionately explores music culture, new and old. Follow him via @tommy4tunes.