Jay Reatard in Toronto

June 30, 2009 at 10:25 pm (Uncategorized)

A month or so back, I learned TV Smith from the Adverts was playing in Toronto, opening for Jay Reatard. The Adverts were one of my favourite punk bands, and I’ve got most of TV’s solo stuff. Needless to say, I was pretty excited. I didn’t really have much of a sense of Jay Reatard, but it was only a $15 ticket. Got the new TV Smith record and Reatard’s Matador Singles 08 collection, and was ready to go.

Then came the hitch.  TV had immigration problems and wasn’t able to join the tour until July 2, but too late for Toronto. Ah, what the hell? What else is there to do on a Monday night? 

It was the first time I had gone to  the Mod Club  – nice club. Half way in size between the the Rivoli and Lee’s Palace. Nice vibe.

The opening act Pacific Trash Vortex went on about 9:15 and played a twenty minute set. They didn’t have much  of a stage presence, but they made a lovely sonic sound. Punky but melodically noisy. Apparently they once had cassettes, but were sold out. A CD is forthcoming.  

The second band came on 15 minutes later.  DCT (apparently Dirty Chinese Thieves is the full name) are a take-no-prisoners punk band. Hardcore with very rock star cliche in the book – they grew on me. Youtube clips abound, and there’s also an EP available.

Jay Reatard took the stage at about 10:45. Boom! I liked the Matador collection, but they seemed to have speeded everything up for the evening.: Barely a pause between songs, just to mention the title. ‘Do they have somewhere else to be?’ I wondered.  At one point, Jay muttered to the crowd,  ‘ You guys seem bored. Good. I’m bored too.’  At the thirty minute mark, the band finished their song, put down their instruments and left the stage. Hmm. Second set upcoming?

The crowd started to applaud, when suddenly the Stooges’  Fun House came over the PA  (it had been playing earlier in the evening). Odd. Then the house lights came on and that was it. No goodbye, no encore, nothing. End of show.

I can’t actually recall the last time I was at a show where the band seemed so indifferent to the audience.  Maybe memories of their last Toronto show still haunted them. Maybe the half empty venue made them think it wasn’t worth the effort. 

So, one band to watch, one to consider and one to wonder what they were thinking. I can’t help but feel things would have been a lot better with TV Smith.



  1. Paul Faulkner said,

    Sort of reminds me of the time I went to see Cracker play in London, ON.

    They were so bored with their small town gig they allowed drunken Frat boys from Western U. on-stage to cavort and play air guitar all night long.

    Ho Hum…


    • fischerzed said,

      I read in a few places that Jay Reatard sets are usually about half an hour, so what do I know?

      There was no real outcry from the audience. I still like the record though.

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