Photos by Neil Van
Washington DC collective Thievery Corporation returned to Toronto last night for a groovy packed Danforth Music Hall.
The band, featuring main duo Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, along with a backing band and a rotating cast of vocalists hit the city to promote this year’s Treasures from the Temple, the band’s 9th album. They were here 11 months ago at the much larger Rebel complex, but still sold out the Music Hall well before the day of the gig.
They hit the stage about 15 minutes before their scheduled set time but made the most of their almost two hours on stage. The place quickly heated up as bodies danced to the locked grooves that sounded impeccable in the Music Hall.
Natalia Clavier, Loulou Ghelichkhani, Mr. Lif, Puma, Racquel Jones and Frank Orrall all lent their vocals and talents in engaging the audience, each bringing their own flavours. Drawing from all of their albums aside from their debut, 2005’s The Cosmic Game and 2017’s The Temple of I & I got the most setlist love.
The crowd was all in right from the beginning and stayed hyped right to the end and especially anything that had Hilton playing the sitar. Set highlight included “Omid (Hope)” featuring Loulou, “Culture of Fear” featuring Mr. Lif (the Philly rapper has moved to Toronto if I heard properly), “History” featuring Lif and Puma who were also part of the blistering set closer “Warning Shots”. The show could have ended there.
The encore featured an acoustic set, something I found odd given the energy levels and maybe should have been tacked into earlier in the set, but the three song acoustic set was followed by 4 songs definitely not acoustic including their biggest singles “Lebanese Blonde” and “The Richest Man in Babylon”.
The encore made for an odd bit of pacing but overall the night was fantastic. Good energy and vibes from both the band and crowd made for a great Sunday night.