@ Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Though the band has experimented with sound and volume on their most recent effort, 2018’s Vide Noir, there exists a space within the music created by Lord Huron. Much like the subject matter of many of their songs, the trials and challenges of human interaction set against or alongside the truths of the natural world, there is a certain scale to Lord Huron’s songs as if the songs themselves were created, pauses and chord changes and dynamic shifts alike, with that space in mind such that the songs often feel like long exhales. This style of song-creation, coupled with the distinctly Americana-infused folk styling’s of the band make for an intimate and rewarding listen. Set within this incredible venue, a modern-day Massey Hall, in which sound has nothing but itself to compete with, that space and style on offer was quite often spectacular.
Though Lord Huron hail from Michigan and now are based in Los Angeles, they have travelled extensively in North America and lead-singer Ben Schneider made it clear that he had a strong connection to Toronto, due largely to the time spent playing the bar circuit when the band was young and still finding itself. The adoration that Schneider professed for Toronto was reciprocated loudly and often by the fans in the Sony Centre with song requests shouted often, dancing in the aisles, and consistent cheering following every song. The set itself was a fantastic snapshot of the band – twenty songs that spanned the band’s young career from “We Went Wild”, which can only be found on a 2010 pre-album release EP, to many of the songs on Vide Noir and the band’s sophomore release (and best work to date in my opinion), 2015’s Strange Trails.
Fan favourites “Time to Run” and “The Night We Met” were saved for the end of the show, but there was an energy and sincerity to the band’s performance in every song and it may have been the middle of their set that offered the most memorable moments, including “Frozen Pines”, “La Belle Fleur Sauvage”, and “Fool for Love”. The addition of vocalist and keyboardist Misty Boyce to the band’s tour was a great decision as well, with her impressive vocals adding warmth and depth to Schneider’s already impressive vocals.
As fans filed out of the show, incongruously to the Sony Centre’s bizarre choice of post-concert house music, “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys, there was a feeling of contentment, of warmth, and of shared experience that is a testament not just to the venue or the artists, but to that aforementioned space … we were invited in to something that was carefully crafted and thoughtfully structured and the end result was not just musical reward but emotional gratification. You’re welcome in Toronto anytime Lord Huron.