Review: Parquet Courts @ The Phoenix – Toronto

The first thing you notice at a Parquet Courts show is how Andrew Savage (vocals/guitar) attacks the mic. It’s not vicious, but rather dynamic, passionately enunciating lyrics with sweat and spit.

And so went Friday’s show at Toronto’s Phoenix Concert Theatre, hosting one of Brooklyn’s finest exports performing songs off their newly released, and critically lauded, Human Performance LP.

The night itself was a bountiful mix of old and new, breakneck and lumbering. Incidentally, the band’s New York sound has evolved, now adopting comparisons to the city’s legendary noisemakers, The Velvet Underground – particularly on the night’s extended, sloppily fantastic closer “ One Man, No City.”

Although the venue was at half capacity, attendance did little to curtail the band’s 20 song set list. Comparatively speaking, love was palpable by the Toronto fans from the start. As a small mosh pit formed, lively dancing and stage diving ensued, propelled by deliciously loud cuts from the band’s breakthrough 2014 album, Sunbathing Animal.

The sonic assault would ebb and flow for the remainder of the night. Interestingly enough, one of the few more lively Human Performance tracks “Two Dead Cops” whipped the crowd back into the thick of things once “Dear Ramona” brought the crowd level below rollicking and into head bobbing.

Credit to Savage, whose performance both vocally and physically, revitalized the venue close to what “Borrowed Time” had done earlier, lighting a proverbial flame under band mates Sean Yeaton and Austin Brown that occasionally erupted into a calamity of blissful, albeit ear pounding, feedback.

Peel away the commotion and what’s left at the centre is an incredibly tight quartet creating unique, and sometimes humorous, music. Call it “Americana punk,” I call it vital rock n’ roll of 2016. My eyes and ears were not disappointed.


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Review by Myles Herod |

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