BRUCE PENINSULA, DUSTED and THE SKELETONES FOUR at the Great Hall, Thursday, May 24. Rating: NNNN
The almighty Bruce Peninsula got the floor shaking so hard at the creaky old Great Hall that I took a moment to locate the emergency exits.
The 10-piece jazz-folk-blues-gospel band fronted by Neil Haverty and Misha Bower took no time at all whipping their devoted fans into a dancing frenzy, and from that point on it was all good vibes and impassioned, full-throttle singing.
Even if proggy tunes, thunderous rhythms and softer Celtic-tinged folk tangents aren't your thing, it's difficult not to be swept up by Bruce Peninsula's live show. The five-person female choir alone is a sight to behold, standing in a line across the front of the stage, scarves hanging from microphone stands. Each singer has a look and sound (and, on this hot night, sundress) as varied as the music.
Haverty stands up front, too, though by the set's end, he was whipping the microphone around his neck and then down on the floor rolling on his back with his guitar, euphoric and fervent. That they got encored came as no surprise.
Earlier in the night, Dusted, the new duo by Holy Fuck's Brian Borcherdt, and the Skeletones Four also did bang-up jobs. The former is especially au courant, with an aesthetic high on fuzz, falsetto, brevity and multi-tasking (drummer Leon Taheny used his floor tom solely as a place to rest one of his keyboards), while the latter's entwining guitar lines and charged songwriting impressed.