On August the 27th, Bleachers stopped by The Mod Club in Toronto to play their debut Canadian headline show. The relatively full all-aged crowd seemed thrilled to hear the band play tracks taken from their newly released debut record Strange Desire. Opening their set with the first three songs off the album (Wild Heart, Rollercoaster, and Shadow), the band sounded energetic and cohesive.
Bleachers seemed determined to ensure the crowd would not only have an enjoyable night but were also encouraged to participate in the evenings events between sing-alongs and exchanging banter with frontman Jack Antonoff. The New Jersey five-piece interchanged instruments throughout the night and clearly paid homage to the “Boss” of their resident state; taking an eighties-like vibe in the middle of their set with Clarence Clemons-like saxophone solos and power hooks dipped in back layered synthesizers.
There was also the surprising contrast between the two covers the band did; an arousing and heartfelt version of The Mountain Goats’ This Year and a chilling acoustic take on Steel Train’s Bullet. Closing the set with what I thought were the two strongest songs, the night came to the end with Who I Want You to Love and I Wanna Get Better.
Seemingly taken aback by the crowds over enthusiasm with an intense applause level and gifting of toy ducks, Jack and the band showed genuine appreciation and promised they would be back again and again in the near future.
Review by Yaz Atout (