April 21, 2014

Emm Gryner at The Rivoli

This site that you're reading is about the music I like. So, by definition, I'm a fan of the music I feature and the bands I shoot live. Emm Gryner released her latest album Torrential on April 8. On Thursday, April 17 she played The Rivoli for an attentive and enthusiastic audience. I've been a fan of Emm Gryner since I first heard "Summerlong" from her 1998 album Public and this is the first time I've seen her perform live other than the Songwriters in the Round event last month.

I was pretty excited.

I've never seen the back room at The Rivoli done up with tables and chairs - dinner theatre style - before. It was a nice set-up that suited the performances well.
As I waited for the show to start I saw a man with a moustache. I thought, "Is that Chris Hadfield sitting over there? Maybe not... Couldn't be... Although he and Emm have sung together before, and Emm wrote a song about him, so it could be." I guessed I'd find out when and if she decided to play "So Easy" from Torrential, which is a duet with Chris.

Emm started her set with a few songs on guitar, then moved to a few songs on piano and so on. She played tunes spanning her 14-album discography. I thought I had them all, but I found I'm missing three.
Emm kept the crowd in rapt attention for the entire show. I thought it was fantastic and judging from the enthusiasm of the crowd, I wasn't alone.

Highlights of the show for me where the opening number "Serenade", "Good Riddance" and "Stardeep" from 1999's Science Fair; "Pioneer", "So Easy" (which she performed as a duet with opener Carleton Stone since Chris Hadfield couldn't make it - yup, that wasn't him), and encore tune "Math Whiz" from her new album Torrential; "Girls are Murder" from the 2006 release The Summer of High Hopes; her magical version of Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and heavy-emotional show closer of The Clash's "Straight to Hell" from her 2001 covers collection Girl Versions.

Overall, I had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the entire performance. If you're not acquainted with Emm's music, I suggest you take a listen to the tunes here and take any opportunity to see her live.

She's playing May 21 at Hugh's Room with Trent Severn in support of the Toronto Wildlfe Centre.


"Math Whiz"

"Ciao Monday"

"Pour Some Sugar on Me"

"Straight To Hell"