I first caught The Frames in Dublin on New Year's Eve, 1993, and then waited another thirteen years to rediscover them. I shudder to think of the countless Frames concerts and music I missed while living in Ireland during the nineties but better late than never, as they say.
So excited was I about the upcoming Frames show here on the 20th that I was sure the entire band would come down with Strep Throat or a freak late April snowstorm would hit Toronto, preventing their arrival. None of that happened and I'm happy to report that I saw The Frames, am crazy about The Frames and will most certainly be keeping better track of them from now on.
Below I've embedded youtube footage from Friday night's gig at The Phoenix. My sole complaint is that an hour and a half the show was much too short. When Glen Hansard explained at the outset that's all the time they'd have because it was an early gig, everyone booed with gusto. "I know, I think it's shit too," he said. He went on to complain that the venue had to get us all out before getting a second crowd in at twice the price. If I had the money I'd have no qualms about jetting over to Dublin to watch them play a longer set at Vicar Street at the end of May but as it stands I'll have to settle for some ardent CD listening.
Revelate, The Phoenix, April 20th, Toronto:
Rent Day Blues & I Have The Moon (cover),
The Phoenix, April 20th, Toronto:
The next day it was on to an outstanding production of Tom Murphy's A Whistle In The Dark at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto's Distillery District. Sitting three rows from centre stage, watching the volatile Carney family lurch towards disaster, I can honestly say I'd never felt tenser watching live theatre. Painful truths are tough enough to deal with on the page but watching them unfold directly in front of you, and with a cast this talented and brave, well it's awe-inspiring and brutal. When Jonathan Goad, Allan Hawco et al. took their final bows they looked entirely spent. Impossible to imagine how they'd have a drop of energy left to pour into the evening performance. This is the best theatre I've seen in a long time and I imagine I'll be saying that for quite some time to come.
Finally, here's The Distillery District on an improbably warm April 21st, 2007: