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Operators at the Horseshoe Tavern


When Operators first entered the world of music, people didn’t know what to expect. The band is fronted by Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner, joined on stage by Devojka and drummer Sam Brown of Divine Fits and New Bomb Turks. At that time, there was no album out either—but nothing speaks volumes like an energetic live show that kicks down the door of a concert venue with a pleasant surprise.

Boeckner’s sound has gone a long way since Wolf Parade, or any of his other musical endeavors (Atlas Strategic, Handsome Furs, Divine Fits). Operators are a band that’s meant to be seen and heard live, and they write their music for that exact purpose. The music is recorded using analog technology, the sequenced parts are stripped out, and what you get is synth-pop without limitations—a mix of post-punk, electronic pop punk that sets the room on fire.

Boeckner looked comfortable on stage, driving his vocals through with passionate intensity while shredding his electric guitar. The trio works well in their intimate size, but the sound is huge—the kind of sound that packs dark venues across North America wall to wall. This show was no different. Toronto’s Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, despite a slow start, filled with dedicated fans dancing, bouncing, and clutching their records with sweaty palms.

People spilled out onto the street after the show wrapped up, loudly talking about the awesomeness of the show, discussing which album they liked most, commenting on Devojka’s hot leather shorts, and likely making plans for the next Operators show.

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