Norwegian black metal crew Dimmu Borgir were much less camera shy than Danzig at Sound Academy Sunday.
Sat, Oct 18
MADONNA at Air Canada Centre Rating: NNNN
There's a certain level of spectacle and showmanship expected from Madonna tours. On her latest, Sticky & Sweet, Her Madgesty is the centrepiece in an elaborate performance that comes off as an urban-dance-club version of Cirque du Soleil, complete with over a dozen backup dancers, full band and massive video displays - all ridiculously entertaining to watch.
The two-hour set borrowed from nearly all of Madonna's musical periods. Older material - Borderline, Into The Groove, Like A Prayer - was re-worked and updated, while La Isla Bonita became a theatrical Spanish Gypsy cantina jam.
While her voice and energy never lagged, the show's momentum occasionally did due to a series of bizarre and confusing video and dance interludes that never really made sense. All things considered, Madonna is still an incredible, tireless performer.
Sun, Oct 19
DANZIG with DIMMU BORGIR at Sound Academy Rating: NNN
Judging by the aggressively enforced rules prohibiting cameras and the shutting down of large-screen monitors during his performance, Glenn Danzig has become paranoid about being videotaped. Understandable, considering a recent YouTube clip showed him being punched out backstage.
It's been 20 years since the release of Danzig 1, and this BOTB tour commemorates his greatness since. Working chronologically through their catalogue, the band - featuring Prong's Tommy Victor on guitar and Samhain's Steve Zing on bass - started with Twist Of Cain, Her Black Wings and Am I Demon from the untouchable first two records. The show then fell victim to Danzig's weaker late-90s work (Danzig IV, Blackacidevil, 6:66 Satan's Child) before picking up again with Mother and Long Way Back From Hell during the encore.
Still, we could've been thrown at least one Misfits bone.
Earlier, Dimmu Borgir delivered a rote hour of scary-voiced "unholy black fucking metal," as they put it. The only noticeable difference between Dimmu and hundreds of other face-painted, costume-wearing metal bands from their native Norway is the prominent use of keyboards. Don't they know Satan hates keyboards?
Sun, Oct 19
YOU SAY PARTY! WE SAY DIE! at Wrongbar Rating: NNNN
You can't blame You Say Party for the bland, alt-rock/trip-hop set by sludgy openers Beast. Instead, the lovable Vancity quintet deserve credit for instantly clearing the air of the undercard's 90s bombast.
Opening with the slow-building Love In The New Millennium from their 2006 debut Hit The Floor!, YSP seemed impressed with the Sunday-night turnout; Wrongbar wasn't packed, but it definitely felt like it at the back, near the stage. Lead singer Becky Ninkovic's awesome, shameless stage moves and spot-on vocal performance made her seem like a Canadian Karen O.
While Monster, the super-melodic lead single from their 2007 LP Lose All Time, felt a little slow, the band absolutely killed tracks like Giant Hands, which foregrounds Derek Adam's catchy guitar riffs, and Midnight Snack. During Like I Give A Care, Ninkovic put her cordless mic to good use, touring the club and touching audience members' faces before the band exploded into their incendiary closer The Gap, which inspired the best dance moves of the night.