It was a Wednesday afternoon tweet from the band Whitehorse that drove the last minute decision to jet from work and head down to the Danforth Music Hall. The tweet shared that a couple of special guests would be making an appearance, those being the lovely Leah and Peter from my favourite band July Talk.
Despite not being familiar with Whitehorse, I knew any band that would invite July Talk on stage with them would be one that I would enjoy, and I really like checking out new music live without any prior experience of their sound. With my mom and sisters in tow (it was a fam jam ladies night!) we made it just in time to check out the last half of the opening act, Sun K. They were quite good, but in all honesty my memory of them is overshadowed with how impressed I was with the main act.
Comprised of a husband and wife duo, Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet, Whitehorse has a great folk rock sound with a distinct western tone to it. There are no other members in the band, but they are certainly not lacking anything for being just two. They both play a number of instruments and share vocals, while making excellent use of live-looping to bring a full band sound to their performance. They used telephone microphones (think old school telephone attached to a standard mic) to achieve a really cool lo-fi sound sound on a number of their songs, which I loved! Peter and Leah came out to join on vocals for only one song, but as usual they were amazing and hyped the crowd up even more. It was a unique experience to see them sing someone else’s song as I have only ever seen them perform their own music. Whitehorse also let the crowd know that this was the first time that they have shared the stage with any other performers, so it was a perfect night to be there! A few songs after July Talk, Whitehorse brought out another special guest, Tanya Tagaq. Tanya’s performance was wild and passionate and unlike anything I have ever seen before. In a night full of surprises the band also called upon a member of the audience, a local guitar talent, to come up and play with them, and wrapped up their show by inviting Luke’s dad to the stage to show that talent obviously runs in that family. Whitehorse is a band that deserves a tremendous amount of respect for their skill and creativity with their music and I definitely recommend seeing them live if you have the chance!