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Pattern overdose: The Wooden Sky @ Il Motore, Nov. 28

Posted by Gabby / November 30, 2009

Hipster kids are cool. They have nice plaid shirts and big (sometimes fake) glasses, and most importantly, they make great music. And it's with that in mind, but without my own item of plaid clothing, that I went to see one of my favorite Toronto folk-indie acts, The Wooden Sky, play at Il Motore last Saturday.

Opening for them was the Evening Hymns, from Peterborough, and Jenn Grant from Halifax. I didn't know either of them, and it was a most pleasant discovery altogether.

The Evening Hymns was first to play, and it was the best way to start a night: they play gorgeous orchestral folk-pop that amazes and tickles the brain, in the best way possible. Notice: this is not music to rock out to. This is music to sit down and drink your beer to, while pondering all the good things in your life.

Jenn Grant was accompanied by a lovely lady playing the violin, and a bassist who pulled out an electric double-bass (!) about halfway through the set. Jenn's voice is fantastic, and her babble in-between songs was endearing. She had a lot of energy, and even got the crowd involved ("When you see Dave looking at you like he wants to sleep with you, start singing!"). For their last song, the band jumped off the stage and went full acoustic in the middle of the crowd. Everyone around me was enraptured by their quiet, powerful melodies.

I had seen the Wooden Sky for the first time during the North by Northeast (NXNE) festival in Toronto, in this tiny venue called El Mocambo. This time, in an even smaller venue, they managed to recreate the same intense, heady atmosphere that had made me love them so much the first time around.

They played songs from both their debut "When Lost at Sea" ("This Bird Has Flown", "Darker Streets Than Mine", "When Lost at Sea") and their brand new album, "If I Don't Come Home, You'll Know I'm Gone" ("The Late King Henry", "(Bit Part)"). They also indulged in a cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "American Girl", and rollickin' good fun was had by all.

They were joined by two members of the Evening Hymns on the drums for "Something Hiding for Us In the Night", which is easily one of the best songs off their new album. They were also joined by Sylvie Smith (from Evening Hymns) for the encore, and performed "Oh My God" and "The Late King Henry" with her. The Wooden Sky have a knack for brilliant harmonies, but Smith's beautiful voice made it sound just that much better live.

Picture taken from the Wooden Sky's Myspace.



Shawn / December 1, 2009 at 02:53 pm
I was so disappointed to learn that I was missing The Wooden Sky in both Montreal and NYC. Figures that the weekend I'm seeing Matthew Good in Montreal, The Wooden Sky is playing several shows around New York.

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