August 26, 2013

The New Pornographers and Cuff the Duke put on great free show at the CNE's Bandshell Park

I was surprised when I heard that one of my favourite bands, The New Pornographers, were playing at the Bandshell at the CNE. I wasn't expecting them to come through town to do a free show at our annual summer fair. I figured that the next time I would have an opportunity to see them would be when they came through town promoting their next album. Well, I'm glad to be wrong.

I think the band was new to a lot of people, and perhaps that was the point, although I don't know if the commentary on Twitter about New Pornographers at CNE that demonstrated that some people had no idea they are a band, or someone in the crowd asking "Are these the porno people?" during Cuff the Duke's set, was really what they had in mind. No matter, I'm sure they turned a lot of people on to their catchy power pop.
"Moves" from Together was a great set opener. The band was in fine form and sounded great. The moved through a setlist that showcased their entire discography from 2000's Mass Romantic, through 2003's Electric Version, 2005's Twin Cinema, 2007's Challengers, and 2010's Together. Sadly, we didn't hear any new tunes.

Highlights for me were "Moves", "The Laws Have Changed", "Crash Years", "From Blown Speakers", "Jackie, Dressed in Cobras", "Use It", "Mass Romantic", "The Bleeding Heart Show" and show closer "Twin Cinema". Pretty much all these tunes are featured below.
Since this was my first time seeing The New Pornographers, I was surprised at how they treated Dan Bejar's participation. He basically came out for the songs he sings on, and then retreated back stage for the other tunes. Frankly, Dan's songs are not typically my favourites and I found it a bit odd.

Overall, The New Pornographers brought all I could hope for (except maybe for Neko Case herself) and I'm looking forward to their new album, whenever they plan to release it.
"Moves" from Together

"Myriad Harbour" from Challengers

"The Laws Have Changed" from Electric Version

"Crash Years" from Together

"From Blown Speakers" from Electric Version

"Jackie, Dressed in Cobras" from Twin Cinema

"Use It" from Twin Cinema

"Mass Romantic" from Mass Romantic

"The Bleeding Heart Show" from Twin Cinema

"Twin Cinema" from Twin Cinema
Cuff the Duke did a good job warming up the crowd. I'm not a huge alt-country fan, so it's no wonder that I didn't know Cuff the Duke beyond their name. Live, I found that the country twang didn't come across to heavily and I would have described them as more of a roots band than an alt-country band based on the live show.

You can see what Cuff the Duke played by clicking through to their setlist. Here are a couple of tracks that I enjoyed:

"Count on Me" from Morning Comes

"Side by Side" from Union