British four-piece The Horrors have consistently been releasing great albums from their inception up to last year’s criminally underrated V. Their first visit to Toronto for their debut album Strange House was one of my fave gigs of 2007, basically tied with Daft Punk.
A big reason I find the Horrors so compelling is their inability to not evolve. Each album seems to be a surprised in itself, but always rewarding. Case in point is last year’s aptly title fifth album, one of the best albums of last year according to me and one I couldn’t stop playing. To say I was excited for their visit to a packed Horseshoe Tavern would be a gross understatement.
Two Tuesdays in a row I’ve been treated to great Toronto audiences and a band that picks up on that great energy. I’m not sure how this North American tour has been going but they were clearly delighted at the reception that greeted them when they hit the stage and kicked proceedings off with V opener “Hologram”.
The sound was clear although I could have done with more volume, but this was a small complaint in the face of a dozen songs, heavy on V but touching on 4 of their five albums (skipping anything from their garage-punk debut). Highlight were “Machine”, “Press Enter to Exit”, “Endless Blue” and “Still Life”. “Ghost”, the first song of their encore was particularly blistering.
While I love the Horseshoe, the night did feel a bit like the wrong venue for the band. Frontman Faris Badwan, and the rest of the band for that matter, needs to be watched as well as heard but the low stage/ceiling set-up made it difficult to catch.
Nonetheless, after the final notes of closer “Something to Remember Me By” there was a palpable feeling in the air that the band and crowd were given just that, with one of the gigs of the year.