Live Review: White Lies and Dinosaur Bones at Mod Club

White Lies Play Mod Club in Toronto By: Sheena Lyonnais
February 2, 2011
TTTT1/2 (out of 5)
It came as no surprise that White Lies’ second show in Toronto was sold-out well in advance of their January 29th Mod Club performance.  The UK band just dropped their sophomore album Ritual, the highly anticipated follow-up to 2009’s critically acclaimed debut To Lose My Life, and have found themselves on high rotation on MTV and MuchMusic for their catchy new tracks “Bigger Than Us” and “Strangers.”  They delivered an almost perfect performance that left their music resonating in my bones.

Keen to keeping brilliant company on tour, White Lies welcomed Toronto’s own Dinosaur Bones to open this gig and it is with great pride I tell you how phenomenal they were. Toronto Music Scene has been fortunate to watch D-Bones (as they’re lovingly called by fans) grow and develop and it’s without a doubt they’ve truly found their stride.  Vocalist Ben Fox has developed an endearing persona onstage whose vocal range and passion emanated throughout the room, enhanced further as the bodies began to pour in.  The band knows how to write a quality song, a rare trait that would normally make a band stand out alone, but for Dinosaur Bones is just one of many things that makes them a pleasure to experience again and again.  They were truly the perfect opener.

I awaited with a curious amount of anticipation to see if White Lies would come onstage sporting all white like they did at their Lee’s Palace debut sometime ago, but it seems a portion of the band has shed the uniform of its earlier self.  Not included was vocalist Harry McVeigh who, as the band emerged on stage, was greeted to a plethora of love from the crowd screaming his name like he was Bieber on prom night.

I have to digress here, just for a moment, to discuss how amazing this crowd was.  It is a testament to the power of a band as talented as White Lies in their ability to mesmerize and capture a room.  The crowd sang and, more importantly, felt every song the band played.  An inherent attribute to White Lies’ success is simply their ability to move you – to make those fine little hairs on your arms stand up as a shiver creeps down your spine.  They make you happy, they make you sad, and it comes across so naturally time ceases to exist.  Conceptually dark, White Lies continues to amaze me with their elegance and ambiance and I would gladly shake all of their hands for making a stuffy venue packed to the core feel so empowering. 

White Lies followed almost to the tee a formula of old song new song, a construction that worked seamlessly.  This isn’t a band about theatrics and I discourage you from thinking so.  They’re not flashy and, aside from the fading white dress shirts, possess no gimmicks.  They play music wise beyond its years, and in doing so are able to join an eclectic body of people who find themselves collectively lost in these songs.  There is a magic to White Lies that has grown since I last saw them, which then was beautiful but less composed.  They’ve added layers and dynamic, including backing vocals from bassist Charles Cave and in doing so have enhanced their sound even further. 

This was, in conclusion, an absolutely stunning show and will likely make my year-end list despite having occurred in January.   The only thing that would have made this show better would be if they were selling Ritual on vinyl…or Ritual at all.

For more information on White Lies, check out:

For more information on Dinosaur Bones, check out:   

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