By: Chantel Ouellet
Photo Credits: Chantel Ouellet
On the evening of Friday, April 15, a crowd began to form at the much loved and uber-hip Queen West venue The Drake to see psychedelic indie rock band Quilt. But first, around 9:15 p.m., Toronto-based band PRGMM opened, and were quick to establish a quiet, chill mood. The band looked out with hazy eyes at the audience five feet back from the stage. Their entire set was cold, but still cool. The band members were collected and calculated while playing, except for the keyboardist. He was dancing and engaging with the crowd, and seemed like a lot of fun.
By the time Quilt got up on stage, the small underground venue had filled up. The crowd was dressed head to toe in black and ranged in age from being mostly in their twenties to a few randoms in their sixties.
One of the older women at the concert wisely told me outside, “My dad always told me that what happens at The Drake stays at The Drake.” She had performed there in her twenties when she was a musician and still comes out to support acts whenever she can. She ended up being one of maybe two people dancing that night. Everyone else in the crowd stood in stoic silence, occasionally bobbing their heads or lifting up their phones to take a snap.
The band absolutely nailed their first song, “Eliot St.”, from their new album Plaza. The first thing you’d notice about the band’s live performance is lead singer Anna Fox Rochinski’s crisp and clear vocals. The band is also made up of Shane Butler and John Andrews, and touring with them is Kevin Lareau. This was the band’s second-to-last show after touring for roughly six weeks straight, but it did not affect their performance one bit—they were still as energized and effervescent as ever.
Their stage presence was cute and cheeky, with Shane Butler stealing the show. He is attractive in a quirky indie rom-com way, and his comments on stage made the crowd laugh. Before starting one song, he quickly announced that it was “time for the drummer to sing a song, so [it would be] a great time to use the bathroom or smoke a cigarette.” He was twee and kind of beachy, but ultimately incredibly likeable.
One element that stood out throughout their performance was that the entire band was equally involved. Multiple members took turns singing the lead, and everyone was really jamming out together. In the end, it resulted in a cohesive performance that stood out for its musicianship and wonderful stage presence.
This article was originally published on our old website at https://thenewspaper.ca/the-arts/quilt-takes-the-drake/.