Sunday, September 22, 2019Light Snow -5°C

Junior Boys, Russian Futurists @ Sala Rossa, 7/04

Posted by Jade / April 8, 2007

A person shouldn’t gush over a concert. Gushing crosses the line from reviewer to fan, but here I am, gushing. That’s how good Junior Boys was; they made a fan out of me.

I kept writing adjectives down in my notebook, trying to capture the feel of the evening in a couple of key words. And then I would cross it all out again as the Boys caught me off-guard with each new song (sometimes within the song). I look at my notes now: Dance-y (crossed out). Atmospheric (crossed out). Uplifting (crossed out). Soporific (crossed out). Pop Pop Pop (crossed out).

Finally something that sticks, scribbled down by a friend at the concert with me: best of the 80’s made new all over again.

With lush synths, Jeremy Greenspan’s unexpectedly gentle crooning, and drums that skipped and started, the Junior Boys channeled a taut brand of synth-pop that belied the bittersweet sentiments of each song. Hello Manchester. Not since Joy Division has a band inspired such exuberant, far-flung dancing to so much heartbreak.

Predictably, the stand-out of the show was “In the Morning”—the first notes played inspired a frenzy in the audience, as though everyone had to get all their dance out before the Boys launched into a more somber ballad. The encore, “Under the Sun” was a glorious, hypnotic piece, treading the line between the bright catchiness of “In the Morning” and the more melancholic numbers in the Junior Boys’ repertoire.

Perhaps the one drawback of the show was the venue. I love Sala Rossa, really I do, but I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if Junior Boys had been presented in a club rather than as an indie-rock show (what with static low lights and (normally) just as static an audience to match). What would a change in setting add to or take away from the concert experience? This didn’t feel like music to indie-bob too. It felt like music you let loose to, shaking that pretty angst all over the place. But then again, maybe lights and club kids would have been a disservice to the subtlety of the Junior Boys’ music. When you have a band so hard to pin down musically, it’s hard to pin down where exactly they ought to be showcased.


Russian Futurists opened like a bright, sunny day. Shamelessly punchy, the four-member band made up of three synth players and vocalist/songwriter Matthew Adam Hart, blazed through an all-too-short set. Pure exuberance and a weird, Beach Boys gone indie-electro-pop sensibility made for an absolutely magnetic performance.

How perfect is it to have these two bands play in April? The Russian Futurists celebrate the spring while Junior Boys bid a wistful good-bye to a cold winter. Hah, and that’s the hallmark of a good show, reducing the reviewer to bad poetry to convey just how gorgeously awesome the experience was.

All pictures taken by Chris Cruse



J Mac / April 10, 2007 at 06:44 pm
Nice review. I engage in similar venue-related what-ifs in this city, although the large majority of those are along the lines of "what if this show wasn't happening at Lambi?"
crz / April 11, 2007 at 10:02 pm
quoted from the middle of a theoretical explanation of the hard-to-pin-down sound of the junior boys:

"Junior Boys' songs have always had more in common with a certain type of contemporary composer - Hall and Oates, Prefab Sprout, The Blue Nile, Lindsay Buckingham."

best of the 80s, indeed.

some live videos up on their imeem music video competition to get a taste, or download their itunes exclusive so you can hear "under the sun."
Karan / February 4, 2015 at 02:40 am
Most people are warm and fuzzy about the first logo bcuesae they read the backstory on what the elements mean. Without it . . . it's just a multicoloured ring of fire/feathers.Modern attention span does not allow for this heart-warming tale to be told, and there is nothing within its design that encourages people to find out more. It is almost too clever something that we as designers must learn to curtail.Like a joke, if you have to explain it, it didn't work.The winning design, although to me not aesthetically appealing, conveys much more information in the first glance than you might expect.For instance, Sochi is in Russia. Would anyone even know that from the first logo? All too often we assume the viewer has knowledge, but in this case how much does the wider world even know about Russia?As for the crystals, I think they are genius. This one design element is so incredibly flexible, and if used correctly, it can create an association with the logo and the event that can be used literally anywhere.Anyway, these are my thoughts. Not conventional I know, but convention is what holds us back at times.
golu dolls / March 14, 2019 at 03:54 am
Kanchipuram sarees / March 14, 2019 at 03:55 am
Kanchipuram sarees / March 14, 2019 at 03:55 am
Herbal Powder / March 14, 2019 at 03:56 am

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Toronto