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Review Wed May 11 2011

Review: Here We Go Magic, AroarA @ Schubas

There's not much of a chance that the band Here We Go Magic won't have fun shows. There's pogo-ing, head to toe bobbing, hip shimmying, and overall glee (and that was just the folks on stage). The group brought their joy to the intimate confines of Schubas Tavern Monday night and wowed an eager group of fans new and old.

Lead singer Luke Temple, guitarist Michael Bloch, bassist Jennifer Turner, and drummer Peter Hale were all rocking out in Chicago, with keyboardist Kristina Lieberson absent, her role was filled by the extremely capable hands of Andrew Whiteman (Broken Social Scene, Apostle of Hustle) and wife Ariel Engle. The duo also formed the opening act, AroarA which came off at first as a bit of a performance piece, but with their remarkable singing and interesting percussion experimentation, it was actually a fine intro to the night's entertainment.

Celebrating a kind of pre-release night for their new release The January EP (available as of yesterday from Secretly Canadian), the band seemed at once polished and still grooving in experimentalism. Not afraid to take some risks, their songs, new and old, range from the straight ahead songs of love and loss, to hooting, looping riffs that take you right off the cliff and into the ocean. It's not a surprise that they're spending part of this tour with tUnE-yArDs (sadly, not this stop) who also thrive on risk taking and vocal interplay with their music.

The band rang through it's past two albums with great ease and grace, hitting songs like "Collector" (with its orchestral sweeps of guitar) and "Fangela" (hand claps!) out of the park with the audience. They played some of the best tracks from last year's Pigeons including the lamenting "Casual" and "Surprise" as well as songs from the band's self-titled debut, and a few from the new EP including the (downloadable) "Hands In The Sky". I really liked what they did with "Hibernation," as they slowed it down and made it lower, funkier, with a stronger bass line which took the '80s throwback tone out and made it much more like a revamped reggae song. The loops and sibilance, whispered through the background of "Tunnelvision" were mesmerizing, and the band encored with "Only Pieces" to the crowd's sheer joy.

All in all, the crowd that ventured out on Monday got exactly the kind of auditory cornucopia that Here We Go Magic can provide so well. The band will do well to keep bringing their big sound to venues where art students and dance freaks can get groovy, though I wouldn't be surprised to see them at an outside festival this summer, where a guy or gal could get their twirl on, spinning around the grass.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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