Live Review: Grimes plays Toronto’s Horseshoe March 27, 2012

GRIMESBy Laura Phillips
March 30, 2012

Bikes were locked around the block for Grimes’ sold out show at The Horseshoe Tavern on March 27. Securing stage views proved challenging, what with the crowd demographic being people of the 6 feet plus, but with last week’s cancelled show furthering anticipation for fans of Claire Boucher, visuals would become a backseat compromise.

The new album’s first single “Oblivion” roosted the crowd two songs in, and a “Be A Body” / “Vanessa” interplay pleased in its sexy “come hither” repartee. The tiny popper– with opening band Born Gold in tow– played through a number of technical blips, and at one point stopped entirely to get sound back on track. Yet with a bit light of light cussing and usual ragdoll dance moves (seen through the cracks of high heads and shifting bodies), Boucher managed to enchant the room beyond the next phase. Tripped up ambience laced in candied synth and Mariah-high hums dutifully became the nighttime remedy. The backing of a full band complemented her typically solo shtick by adding density over an almost signature dreamscape aesthetic. Mixes included sounds of Baltic influence, trip-hop and other world ventures that lingered and incited new light to original album tracks.

Coming to a close after just 40 minutes of stage time and no encore to follow, the show’s end result was nothing if not an anticlimax to go home to. Since Grimes’ performance at last year’s NXNE festival, the artist has garnered heightened definition and a confidence that rides well with her live performance; but when a sold out show plays and peaks in the blink of an eye, heart-heavy grimies may walk away thinking an at-home dance party might’ve served just as well.

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