CMW Critical Conclusions for…The Orwells (Canadian Music Week 2015 concert review)
And now for Wednesday night’s headliners – The Orwells! I was shooting the shit with singer Mario Cuomo before the band’s set, and learned some positive news regarding a new batch of songs. I won’t ruin any surprises, but keep your eyes pealed to PHM for when any news becomes official.
Venue: Lee’s Palace
First Impression: Jumping from the side upper level window is a cool way to make an entrance. They then noted they were Mumford and Sons and they’re from Alberta. Perhaps even stranger was that they opened with their big hit Who Needs You as their first tune! These guys make up the rules as they go.
Stage Presence: Mario Cuomo is an interesting presence on stage. He’s quirky, fun, chaotic, diving from the stage, standing at the back of Lee’s Palace, NOT pandering to the crowd and instead yelling at the crowd for not being as good as the last time. He plays jump rope with the mic cord, he writhes around on the stage – it’s hard to take your eyes off of him. The rest of the Orwells are chatty and fun loving, too.
Crowd Reaction: The people ate it all up. They crowd surfed from the get go. There were a couple of repeat offenders who were stage diving. Basically, the crowd was mad for it.
Random Observation: To the rookie photographer with the shiny new camera and a lack of photography classes – can you NOT use the flash in front fucking row? Especially when Mario is kneeling down, engaging the crowd in the front row, and you let the flash off a MILLION times right in his face? Seriously – get the fuck out of the gig. Ranting aside, the security was super chill and generally cool with all the crowd surfing and stage diving.
Last Word: 8.5/10. The band have a series of powerful singles that the crowd ate up. The new stuff didn’t resonate as well (likely because the crowd didn’t know them), despite my chat with Cuomo noting he felt it was better. The last couple of new songs were fluffy Sha La La and na na na na na type songs, which wasn’t the strongest way to end an excellent high energy show. The band have the tunes to back the swagger – catch them next time in Toronto. In the meantime, check out our 2014 interview with the band.
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