Review by Rick Andrade
Photos by Andrew Hartl
Primal Scream has finally made good on their long-ago canceled date in Toronto. Arriving on our shores two long years after the surprisingly great More Light album, the band was pared down to the bare essentials: a five-piece band that appears a world away from when they were joined by legends Mani and Kevin Shields as well as their dearly departed brother, Throb.
But the band has lost none of its power as highlights like “Kill All Hippies” and “Burning Wheel” showed off in spades. The wild detours that have marked the Primal Scream discography were all there in this dirty hits set: the acid house-soaked 90’s (“Higher Than The Sun”), the Stones-y swagger (“Rocks”, the Y2K militant disco (“Swastika Eyes”), and the Scraut-rock (“Autobahn 66”). And, to honour the fact that he played in Toronto back in 1969, they also made room for a great cover of John Lennon’s “Cold Turkey”.
Frontman Bobby Gillespie seems to have a Picture of Dorian Gray-arrangement with the singer not looking a day older than his Vanishing Point days. His gold lame jacket could make him the heir to Bryan Ferry’s debonair presentation, but his alternating cold stare and stage moves show him to be a rock ‘n’ roll star in the classic sense. His banter could use some work though, giving the classic “this is for all the ladies” and “Toronto, put your hands together” for “Country Girl.”
If More Light is anyone’s favourite Primal Scream album, then they would have been disappointed with the set list selection (with only set opener “2013” appearing in truncated form.) For the rest of us who see Screamadelica and XTRMNTR as their undisputed classics, the set list was pure delight. Judging by the crowd response, there are definitely many of us.