WHY? at the Horseshoe (370 Queen West), Friday (June 14), midnight. NXNE wristband or $15. nxne.com.
It's been four years since WHY? played Toronto, and once again, Yoni Wolf and co. find themselves back at the Horseshoe. But time hasn't stood still since 2009.
Last October, the Cincinnati-based band released Mumps, Etc. on Wolf's own label, Anticon. It's filled with WHY?'s signature genre-defying mash-ups: indie rock with rapping, witty pop songs with lyrics about masturbation and ex-girlfriends, post-rock meets folk rock meets Paxil.
This dynamism makes WHY? an exciting live band. Wolf is just as likely to croon sweetly as he is to rhyme about the inevitable end of his rap career.
Audiences react in a variety of ways: they sway, clap and mosh. Wolf doesn't seem to mind the latter.
"Rage-moshing, yeah, it's cool. I wouldn't get in there, but it's interesting," he says on the phone from his brother's house in Cincinnati. "It's the movement of some sort of energy - maybe misdirected and semi-violent, but something is stirring.
"It's better than crickets."
I doubt there'll be any of those at the Horseshoe.
If you like WHY?, also check out Braids at Comfort Zone, tonight (Thursday, June 13), 11 pm, NXNE wristband or $15; or the National at Yonge-Dundas Square, Friday (June 14), 9:10 pm, free.