One of my favourite shows in 2016 was a super intimate show from Moonface at a bar two blocks from my house, The Lido. Jump ahead 3 years, after the release of his latest album -- and now just going under his own name -- Spencer Krug returned to The Lido to kick off his tour.
Accompanying him was Light Conductor, the duo of Jace Lasek (Besnard Lakes) and Stephen Ramsay (Young Galaxy) joined by a third member, whose name I didn't catch -- in fact they didn't say anything, up to and including the name of their band, until a single "thanks" at the very end.
Their moody synths were very fitting with the psychedelic background projections The Lido usually has, as their instrumental washed over the growing crowd. Almost entirely instrumental, with very few breaks between songs and picking up intensity as they went. Just a I thought the set was going to go on too long for their type of instrumental, they shifted gears and, with a few lights that changed exactly on the beat, pulled out some guitars and for a song with all three chiming in on vocals.
It seemed the perfect music to listen to through headphones, close your eyes, and just drift off into space (how altered your state is while doing this is up to you).
Not long after, Spencer Krug took a seat behind the piano and launched into a new song (that you can find on his Patreon) called "Fading Graffiti". From there he played a range from brand new ones, to the latest Moonface album, to old favourites, and even a few other treats like the Sunset Rubdown song "Us Ones In Between".
His distinct voice and gorgeous piano transfixed the crowd packed in the back of The Lido, with highlights including a stripped down version of “Yesterday's Fire”, one of the songs from his collaboration with Siinai; the intense one-two combo of “Barbarian” and “Barbarian II”; the haunting “City Wrecker”, and the absolutely heartbreaking "Julia With Blue Jeans On", one of my favourites, which ended the main set.
But he was drawn back out by the crowd, mentioned that his pal and collaborator Dan Bejar was in the crowd somewhere* and dedicated the Swan Lake song "All Fires" to him to end off the night.
*(just before this, I had noticed he was standing right next to me and was trying to keep my cool)
Unfortunately, as much as I like The Lido, it has a bit of a dark side as a music venue. Since it is still very much a small(ish) bar, and the shows there are usually free, you have the section in the back packed with people at attention, but then also... the rest of the bar. Throughout the set you could hear chattering from the other side of room, as well as the usual bar sounds of glasses clinking and cash being thrown around. To the point where Krug even mentioned and joked about it, and went to far as to apologise.
BUT, with all that aside, it was still a great show. It was intimate and beautiful, and I wouldn’t hesitate to see him there (or anywhere, really) again.
Us Ones In Between
Minotaur Forgiving Knossos
Running In Place With Everyone
Julia With Blue Jeans On