ReviewsShow Reviews

Ladyhawke live in Toronto


photos by Joey Donaldson

A definitive shift happens when you go from listening to an artist digitally to hearing them play live. You realize that they either: A) Are greatly aided by voice modulation / perfected, pre-recorded instrumentals, and are perhaps no better than your own karaoke performances, or that B) They are in fact better than their recorded sound, and genuinely talented and respectable musicians. Packed into the small but significant Hoxton for Ladyhawke’s show, I reached my own enlightenment, that she (Ladyhawke) and her band are damn good.

Opening for Ladyhawke was Computer Magic, a girl-boy duo hailing from New York City. These two have an adorable stage presence, with the lead songstress, Danielle, tinkling over the keyboard and supplying airy vocals, while her quirky, bespeckled drummer brought rounds of energetic beats. The crowd may have been thin for their performance, but they played with big hearts, and boosted the electric ambiance nicely for Ladyhawke’s entrance.

At ten past nine, Phillipa Brown (otherwise known as Ladyhawke) and her four band mates emerged in front of a growing, enthusiastic crowd. Having only really seen Brown’s photo online, I was surprised at the distinct, 1970s Jesus ‘dos, and the genuine rock ‘n roll vibe this group emitted. I’m not sure if I expected something more outrageous, but glancing around, I realized their band tees and leather actually reflected the flashes of leather vests and pants throughout the audience. On stage, their chemistry carried a clear, cohesive, sound as well, which established Ladyhawke as a band rather than just a singer + a group of  musicians.

Playing a mixture of songs from her 2008, self-titled album and most recent 2012 creation, Anxiety, the group strummed and tapped out tunes including ‘Magic’, ‘Dusk Til Dawn’, ‘Black, White & Blue’, and ‘Cellophane’. While in recordings Brown’s voice is sometimes lost and overpowered, her live vocal prowess is undeniable and strikingly different from the instrumental sounds. Whether it’s raw emotion or just personal preference, they are songs that somehow become more when heard on stage. Brown may be a woman of few words, but she and her band are obviously appreciative of their fans and success. And if you’re in the mood for evocative, engaging music created by real (actual) musicians, check out a live show and get ready to call yourself a fan.

Comments are closed.

Verified by MonsterInsights