Live at the Opera House, Toronto 10/30/06 Review (Of Sorts)


1 nov. 2006, 17h35m

6:30PM Simon and I arrived at the Opera House, an hour and a half early, and started the line-up. We were first there-- of course-- and luckily, as a result of being a sunny and warm-ish day, the evening could've been much colder. I was extra thankful for this, having worn a pair of jeans that are starting to get huge holes 'round the knees. The third guy to arrive was a Deerhoof fan, and didn't really like the Fiery Furnaces at all. This made me wonder about the rest of the people showing up, and how lame they would also be.

7:40PM Okay it's getting pretty cold now. We met up with Brendan, a dude we met at the Lee's Palace show, and talked music for awhile. Our friend Neil was to be arriving by bicycle, too. I'm starting to get really ansy for the rest of the crew (Emily, Teresa, Mary & Jeff) to arrive, as they had our tickets. I'm smoking profusely for this reason, and also because I planned not to leave my spot at the front of the stage once I got it. We later learned there were no in's and out's anyway, and scoffed at how lame the security was.

8:05PM They arrived in time, thankfully. After an extensive security pat-down and an enforced $3 bag-check, I booted it to the merchandise table and forked over $46 for the Bitter Tea vinyl, a shirt and a pin. The vinyl is especially cool, as the back folds out in an origami-like fashion into a huge two-sided poster. We secured a spot at the front of the stage, where we could unload all our bags and jackets. Thank god!

9:00PM Deerhoof come on and play a pretty decent set. The drummer and guitar player were sick, but the lead singer got old really quick. They're a little too much of the same formula for my taste, too. Remind me never to stand at the front for one of their shows, again!

9:40PM The drummer for the Hoof walks to Satomi Matsuzaki's microphone to do the usual thank-you-for-comin'-out shpeal. I get a little excited because this means they'll probably stop playing soon. He thanks the Fiery Furnaces for having them play, and the hushed crowd gives a mediocre response to the headliner's name. I cheer extra loud for this reason. The drummer gives it another shot: "The Fiery Furnaces!" and people chuckle a little because he had to do that, a few more cheer this time. Toronto crowds are so lame. Then this fucking asshole three meters to my eight o'clock has the audacity to shout, "Fuck the Fiery Furnaces!" There was no hesitation. I didn't even have time to really get angry at the guy, let alone get a good look at him, before spinning my head, looking him straight in the eye and yelling FUCK YOU! The entire venue went dead silent-- could've heard a earring drop. You should've seen his face, like a retarded deer in the headlights of a Mack truck. According to Mr. Jeffrey Bennett, there's never been so much hatred in my eyes. I guess it's never been more obvious to me how polarizing a group like the Fiery Furnaces really is. You either despise them or you love them like your own.

10:10PM After the Deerhoof strike and the construction of the headliner's stage set-up, the world's most under-appreciated rock group come on-stage. Eleanor Friedberger looks dashing as usual. The fucking FIRST thing she says into the microphone is, "Hey everybody, thanks for comin' out-- hey, where's Spencer? Is Spencer here?" I wave to her modestly. She noticed the shaved-head. They rip through the re-worked and insanely salsa Tea medley, which kicked ass, and played a few favourites such as 'Quay Cur', 'South Is Only a Home' and 'Slavin Away.' Probably the best set I've seen them play. Matthew's been a great guitar player when I've seen them in the past, but I especially enjoy him solely on the keyboards. Lowenstein is an amazing guitarist simply because he can keep up with Matthew. Bob & unknown percussionist were pretty good, but as usual I paid most of my attention to the Friedbergers and Jason. Once they went off-stage, before the encore, I nabbed a setlist. Now I can learn how to write exactly like Ele-- uhhhhh... Matthew and Eleanor came back on-stage and played a nice simple version of 'Spaniolated,' before the rest of the guys came back and rocked the shit out of 'Police Sweater Blood Vow,' with the two of 'em trading off on vocals. I was very sore and thirsty... Maybe Eleanor has psychic powers because she gave me her spare water bottle.

11:20PM Matthew Friedberger was signing stuff at the merch table. Upon my telling him my name for the purpose of signing my record, he said, "Oh yeah! Hey Spencer, good to see you again." He asked if I'd gone to see them in Buffalo, said they'd played better here (I think). I told him I loved the salsa feel of the set, knowing full-well that's the approach he'd been taking. Also asked him about touring in support of the Winter Women/Holy Ghost Language School records... he said he might do it with unknown percussionist on vocals and three keyboardists. Was joking, I think.

11:45PM Eleanor at the front door! She was so friendly to me! I was around the side of the building when she came out, and apparently Mary said, "Where's Spencer?" and Eleanor goes, "Oh you guys know Spencer?" I don't know if they said yes and I wouldn't blame them for saying no. She asked how I was in a caring way, so it sounded to me. We joked about my being a moderator and I was just generally on cloud nine. If you think she's pretty in picture and on-stage, you have no idea how beautiful she is when she's looking you in the eyes and smiling. I love that my favourite band has a gorgeous frontwoman, for real. Before heading inside she said, "Well thank you guys for coming, nice meeting you all... and Spencer, we will be in touch!" The great final lines to an amazing evening.

1:45AM From beneath my sheets I text to no one in particular, What the fuck am I supposed to do with myself now?


  • hoofer

    Whoa holy crap that is so unbelievably cool. Can I come to your house and share a tequila sunrise, where Matthew and Olga are at the piano trading stories and trying out new tunes, and Eleanor is baking cupcakes and humming along?

    19 nov. 2006, 3h27m
  • blancheflower

    What a beautiful picture you've put in my head!

    19 nov. 2006, 15h50m
  • manmademachine

    Thanks, you just made me feel really shitty for not going to that show. Reallll shitty.

    9 déc. 2006, 23h52m
  • blancheflower

    Hey man, ya should been there!! You'd best have a good excuse.

    10 déc. 2006, 5h18m
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