Friday, 21 September 2012

DIIV & Wild Nothing- Live at The Great Hall

When I first heard the song Doused by DIIV, the first thing I thought of was is that it sounded similar to Wild Nothing. It is both fitting that DIIV signed to the same label as Wild Nothing, Captured Tracks, and that the two bands decided to tour together. That tour brought the two groups to The Great Hall in Toronto last Tuesday night.

When I first heard that DIIV and Wild Nothing were playing The Great Hall I had reservations about the sound quality of the show. The last time I was at this venue was in 2010 for Women and Best Coast and the vacuous theatre swallowed up the sound and left it a big echoey mess. Luckily, there were no such sound issues on this night.

First, I need to talk about how fantastic opening band Yacht Club were. Fucked Up member Ben Cook's new side project is pure 80's inspired dance greatness. Cook even acted the part, looking his preppy best, wearing a white polo shirt, rolled up skinny blue jeans and loafers with no socks. The highlight of their set was the cheesy good synth pop single Flash which was featured on this blog earlier this week.

Next up, DIIV took the stage and looked a lot more coherent and clean than the last time I saw them in June. That night lead singer Zachary Cole Smith had disheveled hair, was sporting sweats and looked like he just got out of bed. He probably had a reason to be unkempt because I believe he played with Beach Fossils in New York the day before and rushed up to Toronto for his own gig.

DIIV dived (excuse the pun) right into things with the instrumental track Druun. Their were a few technical problems to start the song but the issues were quickly rectified. The set was similar to the set they played last June at Lee's Palace. The band ripped through most of the songs off of their debut album, Oshin, and also included a cover a Nirvana's Geist B-side classic Bambi Slaughter. The band ended with their must well known song, Doused, which featured a duelling guitar battle between Smith and his childhood buddy, guitarist Andrew Bailey.

Wild Nothing and DIIV might have similar jangle guitar sounds but there are a lot of differences between the two bands. Jack Tatum is a very quiet guy and it sort of comes across in his music. The band started out with the Gemini songs Confirmation and Chinatown which are classic dream pop masterpieces. I have to admit I love Gemini more than Wild Nothing's recently released LP Nocturne which features a lot more synth pop.

The band then preceded to play an hour long set with most of the tracks from the album Nocturne, including the single Paradise, and a few a Golden Haze & Gemini classics. I saw the band play last year and was more enthralled with their performance than on this night. At last year's performance I got lost in Wild Nothing's dream pop shimmering guitar haze while this year I just didn't feel the vibe. That doesn't mean the band weren't good, just a lot different. The crowd didn't help much as there were more than the usual amount of yappers and drunken dancers who always try to ruin everyone else's experience.

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