PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CLAUDIA KIELB
WORDS BY: ALISON SEROUDE
On the cold and rainy night of April 7th 2014, three amazing bands took the stage at the Opera House in Toronto to rock away the gloomy weather. The venue was packed with fans in high anticipation to see Mansions, Pianos Become The Teeth, and the big headliner for the night: La Dispute.
First to take the stage was Louisville, Kentucky natives, Mansions. This two piece band hit the stage with so much energy they could have easily been mistaken for a five piece group. With the male lead vocalist also on guitar, his female bandmate took to the bass while providing harmonic vocals that coincided beautifully with the lead singers harsher voice and guitar.
Once Mansions had played their set, Pianos Become The Teeth hit the stage with the power and energy the crowd needed to get excited about the show. Vocalist, Kyle Durfey, provided the stage presence needed to get the fans moving and jumping. With a sound much like La Dispute’s, Pianos Become The Teeth is the ideal band to get a crowd of fans excited to watch the headliner.
After being in the venue for two hours, and waiting in the rain and cold for an hour, enthusiastic fans went crazy the moment the five lanky musicians of La Dispute stepped on stage. La Dispute started with the opening song off their third full length album, The Rooms Of The House, with “Hudsonville, MI 1956”. If listening to the newest La Dispute album threw you off and didn’t quite get the La Dispute essence, watching them perform live will change your mind.
Although La Dispute only played three old songs from Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair, watching La Dispute perform their newer material gave the impression that you were listening to their previous records. Despite playing nothing but new material and paying homage to the old, the fans went crazy song after song. There wasn’t a moment where the audience was not singing along to every word.
La Dispute’s performance was incredible to say the least. The energy and presence of the band was more than enough to keep the fans moving and singing along. With every passing song the crowd seemed just as excited and eager and the song prior. When La Dispute changed the tone by playing “Andria”, the venue roared with excitement to be able to start singing along to a more nostalgic tune.
To bring back the nostalgia, La Dispute played “Said The King To The River” prior to “New Storms For Old Lovers”. Upon playing a small tribute to Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair the crowd went instantly nuts and the room never stopped moving. The words were belted loudly and proudly by the band and fans alike, that Dreyer held out the mic to the crowd multiple times to let them scream out the lyrics.
The fans created the atmosphere in the venue just as much as the headlining band did. simply because it is rare to see a band perform where every soul in the venue can recite each lyric, and even standing off to the side you can feel the love that every fan has for La Dispute. It’s not every day that a band can bring out that much passion and loyalty to their entire fan base, and because of that amazing quality La Dispute can easily put on an unforgettable night.
At the end of the night, La Dispute was shouted at by the crowd to perform an encore. Even though one side was yelling “ENCORE” and the other “ONE MORE SONG”; the message was delivered loud and clear, and La Dispute finished off their set with “A Broken Jar”, and the Wildlife fan favorite, “King Park”.
Blending the old with the new beautifully, La Dispute put on a show that fans will never forget, especially those fans who finally got to see La Dispute perform live. La Dispute sound just as amazing on stage as they do on record, and some would even say they sound better live. La Dispute’s energy is non-translatable to records and until you’ve seen this five piece band perform, you have not truly experienced all that is La Dispute.
La Dispute’s Setlist: `
Hudsonville, MI 1956
First Reactions After Falling Through the Ice
The Most Beautiful Bitter Fruit
Stay Happy There
St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church Blues
Woman (In Mirror)
For Mayor in Splitsville
All Our Bruised Bodies and the Whole Heart Shrinks
The Child We Lost 1963
New Storms for Older Lovers
Said the King to the River
You and I in Unison
A Broken Jar