CHOIR! CHOIR! CHOIR! at Harbourfront Centre WestJet Stage, Friday, July 25. Rating: NNNN
Toronto's Choir! Choir! Choir! singing crew have been playing all kinds of gigs lately. Prestigious ones (accompanying Tegan and Sara at the Junos) and really cool indie ones (NXNE's 159 Manning backyard bbq). On Friday night, their voices carried on a crisp summer breeze at the Harbourfront Centre.
Led by Nobu Adilman, who conducts, and Daveed Goldman, who leads the group on acoustic guitar, Friday night's posse of about 60 singers harmonized through a well-curated, balanced set of songs that mixed universally loved tunes (Sweet Caroline) with some of the bandleaders' lesser-known favourites (Elliott Smith's Needle In The Hay).
Adilman and Goldman are both hilarious, and have perfected their comedic timing: "How many people like Blur? How many people like Oasis? Well, you Oasis people can suck it," or "If you really don't like clapping and singing this is a terrible place to be right now," and "Anyone here Smiths fans? Anyone here severely depressed?"
Casual, playful, and so obviously having a blast, the choir especially impressed during a serene rendition of Hallelujah (for amateurs, they sounded pretty damn polished) and on the Smiths' There Is A Light That Never Goes Out. And even if the group seemed slightly short of breath at times, the difficult vocal arrangement for a novel take on Blur's Girls And Boys was fantastic and well-executed.