Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay have this city wrapped around their fingers. Toronto was magnetically drawn to Lee’s Palace to dance, howl, and profess their love for Toronto natives July Talk on Friday night. They have been waiting a long time for this, a sold out show at Lee’s Palace – roughly 600 people who bought their tickets within 10 seconds on a cold February morning. The show started in the darkness with Peter’s unmistakable louder-than-life growl over the microphone for The Garden – it’s their favorite song to open their shows with and the first track on their self-titled EP. It’s not long before Leah enters the stage wearing a crop top that says Crack Is Whack and the crowd is wild with arousal. Her body is a living canvas, and her voice is that siren song that can’t keep us away; she is an invitation to push boundaries, with the knowledge that things will get wildly sexy and slightly dangerous.
Blood and Honey and Gentleman were played for the first time last night – a definite treat for everyone since these two can do no wrong. The fusion of Peter and Leah’s vocals created this slow, dirty, very very sexy interplay that made me feel like we were watching an old black and white film explode into technicolor and pour out from our ears. My body could not stop moving. The set list felt like it was curated to tell a story on its own; one of wildflowers and romance, of humid twilight kisses and witty flirtatious banter.
The encore of the show was the absolute tipping point; Leah demanded that everyone tear off their clothes and throw them on stage. “You gotta strip if you want an encore!” she brazenly declared, and just like that, a myriad of undergarments, short shorts, tank tops, and lingerie went flying onto the stage. They collected the items while playing Black Lace, crooning the lyrics I’m sorry, I don’t mean to stare/All your freckles fallin’ from your face/And you’re killin me, you’re killin me/ My girl is black lace, black lace.
It brings me so much satisfaction to think of all the sweaty partially nude bodies in the crowd; for me, it was a declaration of how tight knit local music lovers can be; we are dreamers, music makers, risk takers. Leah collected all the lingerie thrown on stage; she hung it on her microphone and it looked marvelous. They ended the night with my personal favorite – Paper Girl and I couldn’t help but sing at the top of my lungs and hold my breath when Leah made those breathy gasps between the chorus – so heavy, so sensual and sharp. The crowd had paper airplanes that were being thrown around for even more fun. The four walls of Leah’s (Lee’s) Palace became a haven of love, lust and rock and roll – and I am sure they’ll do it all again tonight. We’ll be talking about the time we spent the night with July Talk for months to come.
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