Report: Editors & Antlers Live Toronto

Brits ‘n’ Yanks bumrush the Phoenix
Concert Theatre on Feb. 16 and BLURT was there.

 

Text and photos
by April S. Engram

 

Unsurprisingly,
the Editors put on an excellent performance. Already familiar with their
bombastic concerts, a bit of hesitance lingered in my mind on how their recently
released third album In This Light and On
This Evening
sounded in comparison to their last albums. As fans of
electronic/dance music, Editors’ newly evolved direction includes heavy synths
and keyboards while maintaining their brooding aura – now, how would it “play”
live? Damn fine, is the answer to that rhetorical question and what made this
performance greater than one could hope for was the enthusiastic audience.

 

 

 

Their
instruments rested on the stage teasing us as the opening acts took the stage. New York’s Antlers
arrived just in time for the show. After a local act left the stage a few
minutes passed when suddenly sound techs were hoisting a drum kit, amps, and
keyboards onto the stage. Once setup lead singer Peter Silberman raised his
beer and quickly addressed the audience, “we are The Antlers and we just got
here,” and began their hurried set.

 

For just a trio,
the Antlers produced quite a bit of sound that washed over the venue. Silberman’s
falsetto voice rose into the air as drummer Michael Lerner and keyboardist
Darby Cicci slowly crescendo’d. During their impressive set, Lerner proved entertaining
to watch as he ferociously beat his kit; by the end of their performance he
managed to pulverize a stick with each strike. The Antlers’ grand sound awed
the audience who cheered and applauded the band on; however, their tendency to
end nearly each song with an extended version grew wearisome. Nevertheless, they
proved a great band to get the crowd amped for the main event.

 

 

 

When the English
quartet finally graced the stage, the audience soared and never came down. In
true Editors style guitarist Chris Urbanowicz and bassist Russell Leetch
remained cool on their instruments. Drummer Edward Lay effortlessly banged out
the quickened beats with an ecstatic smile while singer Tom Smith, bursting
with enough emotion and energy for all, staggered about the stage pouring out
his baritone voice.

 

A great deal of In This Light was performed that evening;
fans knew every word and happily sang along with lead singer Tom Smith. “Like Treasure,”
“Bricks and Mortar,” “Eat Raw Meat” all made appearances this night and the
commencement of each song sparked a frenzied cheer. However, older tracks from their
debut and sophomore releases The Back
Room
and An End Has a Start proved
to be the all-time favorites.

 

Whenever a
familiar bar was played the audience exploded. Editors could do no wrong, even
when Smith accidentally forgot words to “The Racing Rats.” At the piano he
played with the crowd singing along when suddenly he stopped singing and threw
his head in the air laughing. Drummer Lay also laughed and Smith’s mistake.
After a moment Smith returned to the mic and finished the song. He then
apologized to the audience for his error to which a young fan next to me
shouted, “That’s ok Tom, we still love you!”

 

After a fervent
fifteen song set, the Editors big farewell to Toronto; but, they were not yet finished. To
everyone’s surprise they returned for a four song encore and newly released
single “Papillion” was the track everyone was waiting for. Everyone jumped,
danced and with big smiles sang with Smith and the loud synths filled the room.
Nineteen songs, two hours later the Editors closed the evening with a bang and
superseded their fans expectations.

 

 

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