Paper Lions @ Lee’s Palace

. : : July 20th, 2011 : : .

Paper Lions‘ Trophies EP has been on frequent rotation since I saw them open for Dark Mean last month. Their brand of power pop fits firmly up my alleyway. Several of the songs performed at that show are actually as-of-yet unreleased, and I’m anxiously awaiting their forthcoming LP to see how these tracks translate from the live stage to the recording studio. Luckily, I was given the opportunity to experience the next best thing.

Hailing from the east coast, I sure wasn’t expecting Paper Lions to make the trek back to Toronto until they had the aforementioned disc in tow. Oddly enough, barely three weeks since their triumphant show at the Horseshoe Tavern, the band did just that. This time opening for Memphis — a side project for Stars and Broken Social Scene member Torquil Campbell — at the larger (and often better sounding) Lee’s Palace.

The band seemed to be the biggest draw on the bill to last month’s show, so I was expecting Lee’s Palace to fill up quickly before the band’s set. However, maybe because it was a Wednesday night, maybe because there was a bevy of shows in Toronto on this particular evening (including Rebekah Higgs, who I was sad to miss), but the crowd was scattered pretty thinly throughout the room.

Those whom made it out seemed to be really enjoying themselves. Song after song, from unreleased set opener Ghost to Trophies highlight track Don’t Touch That Dial to a fairly faithful cover of Peter Gabriel‘s Solsbury Hill, the band played tightly, nailed the harmonies, and consequently pleased happily dancing fans old and new alike.

The set didn’t stray far from the previous one, but it was great to be familiar with more of the material going in. The sound, although not perfect, was an improvement over the Horseshoe. It was clear that, in the past three weeks, the band has only been getting more and more comfortable with the new material, which was performed with an explosion of energy that propels the already compelling hooks and melodies to a whole new level.

Watch for these guys continue to break out once their new disc drops in Autumn.

  1. Ghostwriter
  2. Hands
  3. [banter]
  4. Sweat It Out
  5. Stay Here For A While
  6. [banter]
  7. Sandcastles
  8. Trouble
  9. I’m On Fire
  10. Philidelphia
  11. Don’t Touch That Dial
  12. [banter]
  13. Solsbury Hill [Peter Gabriel]
  14. [banter]
  15. Lost The War

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Trouble (Live In Toronto) [MP3 sample]

A very big thanks to Paper Lions and Lee’s Palace.

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