by Robyn Crosby
Let’s all give thanks to the music Gods that Leah Fay and Peter Dreimanis met that faithful day in downtown Toronto, not all that many years ago. In just a short time, in music years, July Talk has become a staple band for Canadian music lovers. Known for their electric live shows, the band came home to play the first of two sold-out shows at The Danforth Music Hall.
Donning their signature black and white clothing looks lead singers Fay and Dreimanis often made reference to Toronto and gave many thanks to the city. On the road since mid-August promoting their new album, they talked about how they forgot what “this” feels like, referencing being back in the city. “ I miss a lot of things back home. Last weekend we saw family sat across table and white of teeth and eyes…” Dreimanis said.
The crowd didn’t need a warm-up, they were singing along from start to finish, in particular, losing their mind by the 3rd song, “Blood and Honey” (a song not yet released as a single). But hey, how often to you get double your money’s worth at a show with two energetic front people? If July was musical currency, we were all very rich that night. Not shocking if you’ve seen them before, the band was charming, interesting, and the night just full of good, solid music from guitarist Ian Docherty, bassist Josh Warburton, and drummer Danny Miles. Fay and Dreimanis’ endless creativity as performers ensures the crowd never checks out. Their odd antics were all intact, seemingly natural and unplanned. But really, it’s just who they are as people – super fun people. The duo is so full of energy and, at one point, both of them were whipping their hair around and around while Dreimanis crowd surfed with his guitar. He also took and wore part of someone’s Halloween costume – a yellow feather boa taken from someone in the audience so he could wear it for a song.
One thing that differed from shows of July Talk’s past was the presence of backup singers who also rocked out and danced. They likely came on the scene given the dancing in the band’s latest videos. Fay studied dance in college and it’s evident from her performance and the music, it’s another element to the band, and the fans enjoyment and participation. “Don’t you want to dance?” they said.
The show, filled with much banter, was exhilarating for all. “This is so fun,” Dreimanis said. ”Multiply the fun you are having by a million”. It was clear the entire band genuinely enjoys themselves on stage. And by the vibe of the crowd, the feeling was much more than mutual. It was referenced that footage of the show was being shot, but it’s not clear where it would be used.
Opening up the show was east-coast singer/songwriter, Adam Baldwin (of Matt Mays + El Torpedo) and Australian band, KINGSWOOD. Baldwin’s soon to be on tour with Sam Roberts. And if you want more of Fay’s sweet voice have a listen to Adam’s songs, “Anytime” and “Sparrow Song”, where she is featured on backup vocals. KINGSWOOD is something to check out as well. Their final song, “Ohio” is simple yet a powerful song that guaranteed you will sing along to. The song has super high notes and a fun feeling with a little something for everyone in it. They morphed the song into “You Are My Sunshine” at one point making their send-off song even better.