Courtesy of Art Brut Art Brut's 'Brilliant! Tragic!' was released last month…
- Posted on Jun 18th 2011 3:01PM by Lonny Knapp
Courtesy of Art Brut
Moments later, the cocky frontman told the audience that, according to 'The Lead Singer's Handbook,' the only way to make up for such rude behavior was to play a huge hit. After scanning the set list, he apologized to the crowd: "Sorry, we don't have any hits."
Instead, the band played tracks from their recently released, Frank Black-produced, fourth studio album 'Brilliant! Tragic!' and four-on-the-floor fan favorites 'Formed a Band,' 'Emily Kane,' and 'Modern Art.'
During the latter, guitarist Ian Catskilkin, bassist Freddy Feedback, guitarist Jasper "Jeff" Future and drummer Mickey Breyer -- who, up to this point, provided the relentless backbeat to Argos' mostly spoken narratives -- broke it down.
With the band holding a quiet groove, Argos came off the stage, joined the crowd, and improvised a fantastical tale inspired by a real-life visit to Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum. His voice a whisper, Argos took the audience on a long ride down, in a secret elevator. As the tale unfolded, he urged fans to squat around him on the floor.
In Toronto, where music fans often stand, arms crossed, in the face of infectious dance grooves, the buy-in was impressive. Live performance is about creating and maintaining a connection with an audience, and Art Brut's Friday night set yielded one of the coolest moments of the ongoing NXNE festival. With a few hundred festival-goers crouched quietly on the floor all around him, Argos broke down a wall, creating a moment that could neither be replicated or rehearsed.
As he wrapped his monologue, the band hit a crescendo and the squatting fans sprung up to form a pogo-infested sea. Then, Argos was consumed by a wave and, for a moment, performer and audience were one.