Live Review: Canyons – Civic Undergound (15.12.2011)

DJ Steele Bonus was playing to an empty room when I walked into The Civic, a shame since his funky music was perfect in the background and was a great way to start the night. As the bar started to fill, so did the dance-floor until the whole room was packed. DJ Steele Bonus had us in the mood to dance, perfect for Canyons.

They started off strong with the sexy tones of ‘See Blind Through’, which makes everyone on the floor start moving. People are climbing on top of the seats of the booths near the bar to be able to see the stage, one guy kindly apologises for doing this when he kicks me in the head.

‘Circaida’, the opener from album Keep Your Dreams is next, not as upbeat but a good way to ease into the set. The Civic is the perfect venue for Canyons to debut at, the sound is perfect and every note of each song, despite the complicated arrangements, is clear.

Single ‘My Rescue’ gets a huge reception and when played live, sounds just as intense as it does on the album. The vocals aren’t as strong as they could be here but that’s the only criticism I can give. They make the most of every instrument on stage and make them all work together. The fact that this is their first live show is shocking, since they sound so damn good and look so comfortable playing.

The band aren’t much for banter between songs but thank us every so often and sound amazed there are so many people out to watch them tonight. The stand out song of the set is definitely the crazy ‘Blue Snakes’. With its tribal percussion and driving beat, I feel like I’m in a jungle. The vocals channel cavemen swinging on trees, a feeling you wouldn’t expect to have while underground in the middle of Sydney. They close with the epic ‘And We Dance’ and its long intro mixed with a huge build up makes it explode on the dance floor.

The long jam session at the end of each song showcases every musician on stage’s talent. It makes it almost impossible to believe that this was their first live gig and if they can continue to deliver the atmosphere they’ve created tonight, they should win more fans. They’re definitely a band to go out of your way to see live.

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Justine McNamara

I'm an Australian living in New York. I work in marketing but I write about music, New York, and my own personal experiences.

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