Photographs by Matt Forsythe
Do Make Say Think made the most of the Danforth’s large stage, using an impressive lighting rig, projecting ghostly images of the band onto a screen and giving their multiple members a chance to spread out.
DSMT’s Justin Small introduced openers Mimico, saying his work with the three-piece represents his first time producing an album. The trio traded vocal duties and played dream-like songs, with many sounding like the climax to a Godspeed You! Black Emperor song.
Over the course of their set, DSMT played songs that seemed to encompass everything from jazz to shoegaze and the post-rock their known for. They’re touring in support of their current release Stubborn Persistent Illusions. They kicked off their set with ‘Bound’ and ‘And Boundless’ from the album. The songs provided a study in contrasts with ‘Bound’ being a more quiet while ‘And Boundless’ was more fast-paced.
One song even included a loud section that was almost frightening in its intensity with the lighting rig the band had on stage flashing in sequence. Throughout their set, the band made frequent instrument changes.
At one point, they admitted to feeling very nervous but they could feel the love from the audience, who cheered at the start of virtually every song, and it was great. They even admitted to being unsure about booking the Danforth Music Hall but the capacity crowd showed it was a good choice.
Flying Julie Penner in from Winnipeg proved to be another good choice as her violin brought a dramatic feel to many of the songs. They also recounted a story about how their drummer nearly had to have his foot amputated after he suffered a third degree burn to it.
DSMT may be best known for playing long, post-rock songs but they flirted with accessibility on a couple songs. Just before they left the stage for the first time, they played the soaring ‘The Universe’. Just before playing the encore, they commented that they had played their first gig 21 years ago as teenagers who would have balked at being called a progressive rock band but now they embrace the title. With this feeling of nostalgia, they went all the way back to their 2003 album Winter Hymn, Country Hymn, Secret Hymn to wrap up the evening.