Touring for their new album, Death Song, released this year, The Black Angels played a show in Toronto for the first time since 2014. By no means a lyrically light album Death Song may be the most profound released by a band in their 10 years running. The album said to be influenced by the social and political turmoil in the US having been recorded during the 2016 US Presidential election. The Black Angels’ traditionally narrative lyrics used to depict a range of emotions associated with our current time in history.
Their performance at the Danforth Music Hall on Saturday May 6th was wonderfully morose. Amongst band members Stephanie Bailey, Christian Bland, Kyle Hunt, Alex Maas and Jake Garcia on stage was a screen with projecting kaleidoscope visuals resembling a continuously morphing collage of their album covers complete with rainbow colour scheme and optical illusions. The projections offered the perfect compliment to the Black Angels’ layering instruments and gradually manifesting songs.
The show was an assortment of older picks with a clear emphasis on the new album. The official set list began with the first track from Death Song, “Currency” and finished with the last track from the album, “Life Song”. The performance was complete with the walk off stage before the encore. The band returned to perform 3 more songs for the energetic, multi-generational crowd. The Black Angels finished the show with the first track off their first, full-length album, Passover, “Young Men Dead”; a song that was graciously received by the crowd.
Their show at Danforth Music Hall was a wonderful representation to the way live music should be. Accurate set times, a good crowd and a band that delivers a genuine performance.