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Review Mon Jun 27 2011

Review: Junior Boys @ Metro, 6/24/11

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Junior Boys' Jeremy Greenspan (photos by Steve Stearns)

The Canadian electro-pop duo (Jeremy Greenspan and Matt Didemous) that is Junior Boys brought their cold romanticism through Chicago's Metro on Friday night. The pair is currently on tour in support of their fourth album release It's All True, but their Metro show was culmination of their eight year career, with a heavier focus on past versus present material.

The non-nonsense duo went straight to work with set opener "Parallel Lines" (from third album Begone Dull Care) and didn't take time out for much else 'til curtain close. The cold "Parallel Lines" took percussive beats from a slew of sources while Greenspan's characteristically whispered vocals floated in falsetto above, ironically speaking to final amends. Greenspan himself never became attached to the emotion behind the lyrics he whispered. The detachment of "Parallel Lines" defrosted with crystalline organ-synth to warm it (and the crowd's dancing feet) up before blue lights aided the imagery of the bereft nostalgia of "Please Don't Touch". The latter song's bouncing beats and snare effects contrasted the desolation of the lyrics: common objects, with their lived-in comfort, held sentimental history. Greenspan, seated behind his keyboard, begged through the chorus that the sentiments not be altered ("Please, please don't touch").

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Junior Boys' Matt Didemous (photos by Steve Stearns)

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Crowd at Junior Boys (photos by Steve Stearns)

Junior Boys' set may have defrosted but it never fully thawed. Greenspan and Didemous held the Metro crowd in cold desperation with the gritty TV-snow sounds of "Teach Me How To Fight" under swirling keys. Those icy moments were warmed up with enthusiastic body motion during tracks off of the 2006 release So This Is Goodbye (like crowd favorites "Double Shadow" and "In The Morning"), and time devoted to glamy snares or disco beats. Overall, the set lingered rather than seethed. That seems about right though; even upbeat Junior Boys' songs are drenched in romantic melancholy.

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Junior Boys (photos by Steve Stearns)

 
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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.

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