Thursday, September 16, 2010

Show Review: Dirty Projectors - Live at the Opera House, Wednesday September 15, 2010

On a cool Wednesday night, Brooklyn’s own Dirty Projectors brought their jittery take on progressive rock to Toronto’s Opera House. The band was in fine form as lead singer and guitarist Dave Longstreth (looking as lanky and sweaty as ever) and crew harmonized beautifully on material from not only their latest release, Bitte Orca, but on songs from their seven album catalogue as well.

Although the audience appeared to be utterly captivated throughout the entirety of the night, the loudest cheers most certainly came for Bitte Orca songs such as the standout “No Intention” and a hushed version of “The Bride.” The crowd simply erupted during the hip-hop influenced “Stillness In The Move” which saw Amber Coffman taking on lead vocals. Her vocal range was wickedly impressive as Coffman reached the tunes signature high notes with Mariah Carey-like ease. The Projectors treated the packed Opera House to some brand new material that they recently recorded with the legendary and eccentric Icelandic singer Bjork. Without the strange presence of Bjork however, the songs didn’t seem too far removed from the themes found on Bitte Orca.

The evening’s biggest surprise came as Longstreth introduced Toronto native Owen Pallett to add some violin work on “Two Doves.” Only Longstreth, Coffman and Pallett remained on stage for the gentle lullaby during which the crowd was absolutely silent. The classical guitar riffs of “Temecula Sunrise” had Toronto fans standing still, watching the band intently before being hit with the songs surprisingly heavy drum blasts. Smiles could be seen all around as fans awkwardly attempted to dance to the track’s odd time signatures with very little success.

The Projectors left the stage for no more than a minute before reemerging for a four-song encore. “Cannibal Resource,” the opening track off Bitte Orca was strategically saved for last and was met with rowdy applause and cheers. Two hours later the band left the stage for good having delivered a pristine performance that fans of the Dirty Projectors have simply come to expect this deep in the band’s career.

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