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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

03-Oct-2007 03:53 AM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Koolhaus in Toronto, Ontario
Photos and Review by: Pete Nema
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club October 1, 2007
Full Photo Set (8 photos)

I found out about Black Rebel Motorcycle Club indirectly through the movie DiG!, which is a documentary contrasting the careers of The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. For at least part of the 7 years over which it was filmed, Peter Hayes (vocals, guitar) played guitar for The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and through a couple of levels of indirection from that movie, I became interested in his work. So even though BRMC was formed many years before I watched DiG, it was that movie that made me discover the music of BRMC.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

I took a peek at the set list before the show, and it was a long one. I was guessing that they were going to pick and choose their way through it, but it turns out I was very wrong - BRMC played for over 2 ½ hours, all the way through the 25-song set. It all started out with the first three songs of their latest album, Baby 81, in the same sequence as on the album. But after that, the set wandered all over the map including songs from all four of their albums as well as four cover songs.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

The performance was very much an exercise in cool, something that this band has mastered. Definitely very cool. With the exception of some of the songs from Howl, most of their material has shoegazer attributes such as repetitive song structures and droning guitar with a dark vocals, but there are also some moments built on bluesy-classic rock. Much of the show was just about the music, and I'll admit I didn't stick it out until the end, but a friend reported that later in the set Robert Been (bass, vocals, guitar) stepped off the stage and onto the barriers, among the front row fans, and had someone hold his microphone while he sang and played guitar. When describing this scene to me my friend used the phrase, and I'm copying and pasting from the email here: It was cool! Yes, I'm absolutely sure it was.

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