. : : November 30th, 2011 : : .
As you may recall, I first was introduced to Danielle Duval when she played a solo set opening for Royal Wood at the Rivoli. I was intrigued enough to catch her on CBC, and discovered I knew a couple of her band members. When she announced a residency gig at The Piston for the month of November, I knew I had to make it to at least one of the shows.
And I made it to the first of the five shows, but in a colossal moment of idiocy, I forgot all of my recording equipment at home. It has been years since I have gone to a concert without my gear, and to say I felt naked is an understatement.
Maybe only fellow tapers (and perhaps photographers) can empathize with the addiction of the hobby, but i was jittery and uncomfortable for the whole night in spite of stellar performances by Danielle and openers The Elwyns.
I had been meaning to make the trek back and right the wrong the entire month of November, but issues both personal and professional kept me otherwise occupied on Wednesday evenings.
So, when the last of the Wednesday residences quickly reared its ugly head, and thanks to a Facebook event invite as a reminder, I scrambled to get my shit together and get back down to The Piston.
With a crowd easily three times the size of the one at the first of the residencies, you could tell the band was re-energized. After premiering the adorable new music video for Ambulance, the band opened up with the said same song. If there’s any clearer juxtaposition of the two sides of Danielle, I’ve yet to see it.
In studio, like Ambulance, the songs are pristine, poppy, radio-friendly light-rock. Live, on the other hand, the songs are gritty, grungy rock songs that often leave Danielle’s voice raspy by the end of the song. Perhaps propelled by drummer Mike Duffield‘s thunderous sounding drums, the songs take on a new life.
That’s not to say that songs still aren’t poppy — songs like It’s Obvious and Imposter have a bouncy sort-of mass appeal — but there’s definitely much less of a polished edge than Of The Valley indicates.
Danielle and her band put on a great hour-long set, playing almost the entirety of her new album, that succeeded in getting the usually reserved Toronto crowd fairly rowdy.
Of course, my night didn’t go off without a hitch — I forgot to reformat my SD card before the openers set, and as I can’t delete individual files on the Edirol R-09 (at least, as far as I’ve discovered!), I had to hope I had enough room for Danielle’s set. I didn’t. Luckily, it ran out during the encore, and I only missed the single-song curtain call.
Otherwise, the tape sounds good. Other than an occasionally talkative crowd around me, it’s a great tape that will please Danielle Duval fans new and old alike. Check it out.
02. It’s Obvious
03. Day Becomes Night
05. We Got It Made
08. The Start
10. The Wild
11. You Can’t Come Any Closer
Thanks to Danielle and band, and the Piston — a great sounding new find!