February 27, 2020

Gowan at The Danforth Music Hall - Concert Photos

Gowan at The Danforth Music Hall on February 26, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Gowan at The Danforth Music Hall on February 26, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Gowan at The Danforth Music Hall on February 26, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Gowan at The Danforth Music Hall on February 26, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Gowan at The Danforth Music Hall on February 26, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Gowan at The Danforth Music Hall on February 26, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Gowan at The Danforth Music Hall on February 26, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Gowan at The Danforth Music Hall on February 26, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Gowan at The Danforth Music Hall on February 26, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Gowan at The Danforth Music Hall on February 26, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Gowan at The Danforth Music Hall on February 26, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Gowan is a Scottish Canadian singer songwriter pianist and guitarist whose hits were ubiquitous in the 80s and 90s. He was simply Gowan, then Lawrence Gowan, then Larry Gowan. To many of us, he was always just Gowan; an incredible singer, a songwriter of danceable grooves and earworm choruses that stick in your head but somehow you never tire of them, simultaneously a writer of intricate and challenging songs that also became huge hits and, dare I say it, part of the Canadian musical culture, all while being a highly energetic and tireless live performer.

I don't think I've been to a Gowan concert since his performances at The Ontario Place Forum in the 1980s. I did catch him performing a few tunes solo at a fundraiser a few years ago. My photos of that are here. This sold-out show at Toronto's Danforth Music Hall was a fantastic opportunity for me, as well as the other 1000 plus attendees to sit back and relax while listening to a rock solid band and a classic performer play and perform an impressive catalog of tunes.

Many of the songs that were soundtracks of my high school days, as well as the years up to now, were in the set. Gowan and the band opened with one of my absolute favourites, "Cosmetics" from Gowan's giant hit second album, 1985's Strange Animal. "Awake the Giant" from their 1987 album Great Dirty World was a huge hit and one of my favourites. It was a little hard to keep focused on photography when enjoying this great tune so much.

The first set's personal highlights continued with the laid back "When There's Time (for Love)", the hard rocking "Keep up the Fight" from his 1982 debut, and closed with perhaps Gowan's biggest hit, the intensely unique and dramatic "A Criminal Mind".

Then there was intermission. You don't see a lot of shows with an artist putting in two sets with no opening act. Gowan and the band certainly could have played from 8 straight through to 11 with the amazing songs that he's released. This format gave us much longer than a typical set, while pacing things out for both band and audience.

The second set got going with "Desperate". The rest of the songs in the set are all crowdpleasers and personal favourites. "Soul's Road" the 1994 album ...but you can call me Larry, "Dancing on My Own Ground" from , "All the Lovers in the World" from the 1990 album Lost Brotherhood, "Dedication", a Styx song called "Khedive" before the drum solo. The set continued with "Keep the Tension On", "Guerilla Soldier" and closed out with another of so many huge Gowan hits, "(You're A) Strange Animal".

Of course, we had to have an encore. We weren't going to let this night end quite yet. Gowan took to the stage solo at the keyboard to perform a cover of Rush's "Limelight" for the recently departed drummer, lyricist and general Canadian music royalty, Neil Peart. "Limelight" is a personal favourite, with such deeply perceptive lyrics about the insanity of fame, and Gowan's take more than did it justice as we all sang along.

The night ended with "Moonlight Desires" and we shuffled off into the cold and snowy Canadian winter night, with so many classic songs buzzing in our ears. I think we almost floated over the slush.

Gowan's vocals were perfection, hitting every note with absolute strength and precision, and his moves were lithe and energetic The band, featuring his brother Terry on bass and Bob McAlpine, the guitarist that's been there since the beginning, played impeccably.

I'll be waiting patiently for the next time I can live through another magical musical evening with Gowan.

In the meantime, here are just a few of my favourite tunes from the night's setlist.

"Cosmetics"

"Awake The Giant"

"Keep Up The Fight"

"A Criminal Mind"

From a show I was actually at, back in the day, "Desperate".

"All the Lovers in the World"

"Guerilla Soldier"

"(You're A) Strange Animal"

"Moonlight Desires"

February 24, 2020

Tove Lo at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre - Concert Photos

Tove Lo at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 16, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Tove Lo at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 16, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Tove Lo at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 16, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Tove Lo at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 16, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Tove Lo at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 16, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Tove Lo at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 16, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Tove Lo at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 16, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Tove Lo at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 16, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Tove Lo at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 16, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Tove Lo at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 16, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Swedish singer-songwriter Tove Lo came through Toronto last week for a headlining Sunshine Kitty Tour show at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The venue moved out the seats and opened up the floor in similar fashion to The Danforth Music Hall. The theatre has got a great sloping open floor area perfect for dancing, moshing or swaying along to amazing music. Towards the back there's seating with great views over the crowd. I caught my first show at this venue for Frank Turner's acoustic concert, and I'm pleased to see how this venue will accommodate all different genres. Can't wait for more awesome shows at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Not long before the start of the show, I heard that Tove Lo would be performing seated because she'd broken her foot recently. They wheeled out a throne and we awaited the start of the show. I have to admit it was a little disappointing because Tove Lo's music is so moving and dance-oriented and her performance is so energetic; I was anticipating a more sedate mood to the show since she wouldn't be dancing around to whip the crowd into a frenzy.

I needn't have worried. Even seated, the music and the crowd came together with Tove Lo to make the night a high-energy dance party extraordinaire. Hit after hit from the new album Sunshine Kitty and all that came before came pouring off of the stage. Ms Lo did take to her feet for some solo keyboard, but found her way back to the throne. She didn't bother leaving the stage between the main set and the encore. No one minded. It was a super-fun night of music and love. One I won't soon forget.

This was my second time catching Tove Lo's live show. The first was back in 2017 when I covered Osheaga for Canadian Beats. My photos from that show are here.

Finnish singer-songwriter Alma got things warmed up on this night of infectious dance-inducing music. Check out my photos of her set here.

And take a listen to my favourite Tove Lo tunes from her set.


"Cool Girl"

"Are U Gonna Tell Her?"

"Talking Body"

"Sweettalk My Heart"

"Habits (Stay High)"

"Bikini Porn"

Alma at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre - Concert Photos

Alma at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 16, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Alma at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 16, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Alma at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 16, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Alma at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 16, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Alma at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 16, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Finnish singer-songwriter Alma hit the stage at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre solo for an enthusiastic, energetic set of hook-filled pop tunes that goes the crowd dancing and waving their hands in the air.

She not only kept the growing crowd's attention, she kept the energy high and got everyone pumped for Tove Lo's headlining set. Head on over here to check out my photos of Tove Lo from this night of fun-filled, high-energy, dance-inducing tunes.

Check out some of Alma's music:

"Bad News Baby"

"Worst Behaviour"

"Chasing Highs"

February 18, 2020

The Naive at The Dakota Tavern - Concert Photos

The Naive at The Dakota Tavern on February 10, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
The Naive at The Dakota Tavern on February 10, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
The Naive at The Dakota Tavern on February 10, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
The Naive at The Dakota Tavern on February 10, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
The Naive at The Dakota Tavern on February 10, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
The Naive at The Dakota Tavern on February 10, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
The Naive at The Dakota Tavern on February 10, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
The Naive at The Dakota Tavern on February 10, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
I'd heard of The Naive for a while now, but this February night at The Dakota Tavern was my first opportunity to hear their songs live. And wouldn't you know it, they were putting on this special show as a last opportunity to hear this particular set songs. The band is gearing up for a new album and a fresh set of tunes.

The Naive amalgamates a ton of amazing musical styles and influences into an amazing, familiar yet ambitious, and wholly unique sound. There are lots of different bands playing these days, many of them with similar influences and musical palates. The Naive live outside the trends and genre limitations with a very unique sonic signature. It's got a nostalgic yet fresh feel for my ears. It may be contradictory, but that's art.

In short, I loved witnessing incredible musicianship, great songwriting, pure performance, passion and energy coming together in The Naive.

The Naive headlined this great night of music at The Dakota Tavern. Y&I was on just ahead of The Naive and Marlon Chaplin kicked things off. Please click on the links to see my photos and hear some music from these great artists.

And enjoy some music from The Naive. And join me in looking forward to what they have in store for us next.

"Holding Back"

"Making Memories"

"Saw the Sun"

"The Moon"

Y&I at The Dakota Tavern - Concert Photos

Y&I at The Dakota Tavern on February 10, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Y&I at The Dakota Tavern on February 10, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Y&I at The Dakota Tavern on February 10, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Y&I at The Dakota Tavern on February 10, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Y&I at The Dakota Tavern on February 10, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Y&I at The Dakota Tavern on February 10, 2020 Photo by John Ordean at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative live music blog concert photography pictures photos nikon d750 camera yyz photographer
Brooklyn New York based Y&I made their Toronto debut at The Dakota Tavern playing between The Naive's headlining show and Marlon Chaplin's intimate acoustic opening set. Please click through for those photos and my thoughts on those performances.

Y&I play music that is at once rhythmic and primal, airy and ethereal, and intense and catchy, all with a sense of playful fun. It's a unique and powerful combination that won me over pretty much instantly. Based on the audience reaction, I know I wasn't alone.

In addition to their original compositions, with inspiriting choruses and multi-layered arrangements, we got a familiar sound as the opening verse of Madonna's "Like A Virgin" led to an intense jam.

Y&I's addictive grooves, melodic hooks and engaging delivery, mixed with soulful and emotionally rich vocals, were a wonderful addition to my musical experiences and I'll look forward to catching their live show again until it happens.

Please treat yourself to some of their music and don't miss their live show if you get the chance.

"This House"

"Amerika"

"Fool"

"Hope"