By: Adrian J. Miller June 26th, 2013
The best part about the Braids performance at Comfort Zone was the stimulated conversations overheard on the fringes of the crowd.
It was there where I was restricted for most of the show. From the soundboard onward was an impressive gathering of unmoving people, an impenetrable mass that had been summoned to merely chill. In the black light alcove were discussions on the nature vs. nurture of man’s personality, the implications of the news of NSA wiretappings and a curious lamenting of the change in the band’s sound.
“They’re usually more psychedelic,” said Jeff – an NXNE concert hopper, “I was excited to see them most, but I think they’re missing something.” His friends nodded in agreement, and took possession of the Comfort Zone’s pool table.
To those outsiders, Taylor Smith, Austin Tufts and Raphaelle Standell-Preston put on a bland and uninspired presentation.
A ceiling mounted projector-displaying colour and animated polygonal patterns lit the stage. But it wasn’t enough to make up for the unintelligible vocals and repetitive techno-tribal beats that droned on and on. Each song was dull and unremarkable, a surprising contrast considering the interesting ambience and range they’ve captured in their acclaimed studio works.
Ultimately, Braids’ live show failed to penetrate the stoic wall that was the Toronto crowd. Their set couldn’t induce the trances their persona is known for.
In the end I left the show feeling disenchanted with the band, harbouring a sense of regret for not joining that pool game when I had the chance.