Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Jun 20th 2009 11:35AM by Drew Berner
In the last few years, a slew of artists have adopted the laptop into their live setup, while others shunned technological shortcuts in favor of a warm analog sound. Parallels split the difference, utilizing a bank of digital synths, live drums and ample vocoder -- the result being a live show that actually sounds live, but at the same time offers smoothed edges and chilly textures.
But as the NXNE crowd that welcomed the band to the stage at Toronto's Reverb on Friday night made clear, they don't need analog to get their dance on. The room was shaking and bouncing throughout Parallels' 40-minute set -- quite the accomplishment considering Toronto's reputation for dance floor restraint.
The group might not have garnered much attention were it not for their relationship to blog-faves Crystal Castles -- Parallels drummer Cameron Findlay toured as the Castles' drummer until 2008 -- but the two bands couldn't differ more. A Crystal Castles performance is aggressive to the point of being scary, while Parallels keep the crowd at arm's length. Not to mention the Castles are known for throwing the occasional fit -- refusing to take the stage if their sound isn't just right or kicking opening bands off the bill at the last second. In contrast, Parallels vocalist Holly Dodson apologized profusely as technical issues delayed the band's set.
Dodson easily charmed the crowd with her vintage Madonna voice and sprightly dancing. Findlay's backing vocals were fed through a vocoder -- thankfully, they came out sounding more Kraftwerk than T-Pain -- while his drumming brought some humanity to the group's chilly rhythms.