I will never understand the person who prefers a large stadium show to a small intimate venue, with no more than 50 people in attendance.. do those people even exist? Is there really even a question of which is better? If I had seen Papa opening for a bigger band, even at Mod Club, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed their first headlining show in Toronto.
It was a hot summer Sunday night, there was no opener, and about 10 people were sitting on the sides of the venue when we arrived. We waited a decent 20 minutes, and Papa took the stage. A weird set up, with the drums in front and center, guitarist stage right, and keyboardist and bassist stage left, it quickly occurred to me that the drummer is actually the lead singer! What a fun time! When I see a great drummer, I’m in awe, but when I see a great drummer, who does all the singing for a band, well, I’m above impressed.
What was even more impressive, was his energy. Halfway into their first song, he stopped entirely, hopped off the stage (much to what looked like his band’s surprise as well) and dragged all the sitting people up to the front, with the rest of us. When he sat back down behind the drum kit, the band didn’t miss a beat and instantly launched back into the song, completely in sync. Running through all the favorites off of their debut full length Tender Madness, crowd favorites ran through Young Rut, Put Me to Work, If You’re My Girl, Than I’m Your Man, and an awesome cover of Pat Benatar’s Love is a Battlefield.
He said “if we ever get big this show could mean a lot in the future” or something to that effect. It was a good blend of indie, with 80’s and almost a reggae sound. Energetic to the last song, if they do get huge, I will certainly remember that show quite fondly.
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