Sebadoh – [Live]

Wednesday, 06 April 2011

Artist: Sebadoh
Venue: Lee’s Palace – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date: April 6, 2011

Which prominent 90’s band was first to tour one of their classic records? Sonic Youth did some scattered shows playing Daydream Nation; Slint toured their seminal record Spiderland in 2007; The Pixies who haven’t recorded a record in fifteen years seem to have been touring old material non-stop for the past six years. So, who did it first? Who knows! But Sebadoh jumped on the bandwagon to tour two Nineties favorites Bakesale and Harmacy.

Much like a 90’s costume party, the crowd – older fans and scattered 20 year olds draped in Nirvana shirts, plaid, ripped faded Levis and Chucks – was a nice change from the regular crowd of “fashioned” indie hipster fans. It was like a real life throwback to Sebadoh ’93 – as noted by supporting act Dutch.

The lingering worry that Sebadoh’s Lou Barlow and Jason Loewenstein would play two entire records back to back, was squashed when the first song played wasn’t “License to Confuse” or “On Fire.” Instead the set consisted of a variety of out-of-sequence songs from both records, which covered mostly all songs anyway. An upbeat and relaxed Barlow joked with the crowd, took extended tuning breaks and switched between guitar and bass with Jason. Even their crushed merch venture (T-shirts confiscated at the border) did not seem to affect the playful mood of Barlow. Perhaps that was due to a love for playing Toronto or because playing old songs is an effortless crowd pleaser… or maybe it’s just that Canada has great weed.

During their self-proclaimed “fake encore” they ended with Sebadoh’s supposed big hit single from Bake Sale “Willing to Wait” – an odd choice given the song’s soft composure. But perhaps ending on this note was an effort to ‘take back’ the song after its music video blunder which was orchestrated by a manipulative music label. And that very attitude echoed the night’s performance as a whole –intimate, understated but energetic and lawless. [Jackson Main]

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