Telekinesis @ Sonic Boom / Horseshoe Tavern

. : : March 6th, 2011 : : .

Between songs at the Horsehoe TavernTelekinesis front man and brain child Michel Benjamin Lerner asks the crowd if they have any questions. “Why are you guys so amazing?”, one gentleman piped up from the back. Lerner bashfully shrugged off the compliment, but touring guitarist Cody Votolato interjected with “We try our hardest, maybe that’s why it appears that way. Really hard.” And that would be an extremely difficult assessment to argue.

The stripped-down, off-the-cuff set at Sonic Boom records earlier in the evening was definitely more laid back, but in a way that reflected the intimacy of the environment. But for the paying crowd at the Horseshoe, the three-piece band (I’d be remiss to neglect the mesmerizing bassist, Jason Narducy) visibly poured their heart and soul into each note from top to bottom of the set. The energy and enthusiasm shared by the trio on stage was palpable. Telekinesis’ current formation is clearly the culmination of three young men touring the world, doing what they love with the people they love. As hard as they were playing for the crowd, it seemed they were simultaneously playing for each other. Sidelong glances, funny faces, and witty repartee were all on the menu. Luckily for the small(ish) Sunday evening crowd, the main course was generous portions of the bands infectious brand of power pop.

Expertly mixing the setlist primarily with tracks from the (wonderful) new album, 12 Straight Desperate Lines and the band’s self-titled debut LP, the Telekinesis train rarely got off track, and recovered so quickly that any missteps were quickly forgotten. We were also treated to Lerner’s outstanding solo cover of Teenage Fanclub‘s “The Concept“, a song abandoned after the previous tour but resurrected in honour of the two not-available-in-the-US Teenage Fanclub albums he picked up as part of his payment for performance at Sonic Boom.

Speaking of which, shame on those who made it to the earlier record store gig and skipped out on the band’s headlining set later in the evening. The dichotomy between the performances was a bit jarring; the visual experience of seeing Lerner enthusiastically rock out behind a full drum kit is a significant portion of what makes Telekinesis such an amazing live band, and is worth the price of admission alone. The pared down kit used at Sonic Boom, consisting of a snare, bass drum, and single crash cymbal, was serviceable but a comparatively tame representation of the Telekinesis live experience. It’s almost the equivalent of what I imagine an all-acoustic AC/DC set to be — really interesting to hear, a neat experience, but not at all how the band should be enjoyed.

The band wisely kept the free record store show sweetly succinct; at under twenty minutes, it was just enough the seduce anyone on the fence about attending the Horsehoe gig to commit without giving away the farm. Granting the request for Game of Pricks at the Sonic Boom show but not at the Horsehoe performance added addition value to the hardcore few of us who ventured to both.

I recommend you check out Telekinesis’ 12 Desperate Straight Lines, which is an early forerunner in my pick for album of the year, but I demand you see this band next time they play your town. Unless you have an aversion to ridiculously catchy power pop/rock performed by phenomenally talented musicians who put on a great show. In that case, you’re on your own and I feel sorry for you.

      . : : SONIC BOOM RECORDS : : .

01. [introduction]
02. You Turn Clear In The Sun
03. 50 Ways
04. [banter]
05. Please Ask For Help
06. [banter]
07. Game of Pricks
08. [banter]
09. Coast of Carolina

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[ Request FLAC or MP3 Download ]

You Turn Clear In The Sun (Live In Toronto) [MP3 sample]

      . : : HORSESHOE TAVERN : : .

01. You Turn Clear In The Sun
02. Please Ask For Help
03. 50 Ways
04. [banter]
05. Non-Toxic
06. Imaginary Friend
07. [banter]
08. All Of A Sudden
09. I Cannot Love You
10. [banter]
11. The Concept [Teenage Fanclub]
12. [banter]
13. Rust
14. Foreign Room
15. Palm Of Your Hand
16. [banter]
17. Dirty Thing
18. Car Crash
19. [banter]
20. Country Lane
21. [banter]
22. Coast of Carolina
23. [encore]
24. Awkward Kisser
25. [banter]
26. Tokyo

[info.txt // flac fingerprint ]
[ Request FLAC or MP3 Download ]

Car Crash (Live In Toronto) [MP3 sample]

Thanks to, Michel Benjamin Lerner, Cody Votolato, Jason Narducy, Sonic Boom Records, The Horseshoe Tavern, and companion Jesse for a great evening!

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