CBC STUDIO ONE, FEBRUARY 20, 2014
For Said The Whale this live musical experiment was unlike any of their previous shows: they remixed and performed nine songs off their latest album hawaiii for a CBC Toque Session. These all-ages sessions — now in their fifth running year — are a series of free yearly concerts showcasing local talent in an intimate setting.
Easily hitting capacity in CBC’s 140-person Studio One, the audience quieted as charismatic CBC Radio 3 host Grant Lawrence introduced himself from onstage, defined CBC Toque Sessions, and delved into Said The Whale’s history. Lawrence then chatted with a Said The Whale fan that travelled all the way from Mexico City to see the band and led an interactive Said The Whale quiz game with participating audience members.
As remix mastermind and bass player Nathan Shaw stepped onto stage and assumed position behind a laptop and sampler, the four remaining band members flanked him with microphones and keyboards. From the first song, it was clear the band rehearsed well — their set was 30 minutes long and seamless between songs. Remixed songs included a variety of dreamy synths, dubstep bass drops, and stuttering Purity Ring-esque beats. Standout moments include a higher tempo version of “On the Ropes” with a tropical keyboard riff, the spaceship twang of “Oh K, Okay” and the quick build up of “I Love You” from tinny finger snapping to thick bass in the chorus.
There’s no need to discuss whether their remixes were of good quality or not – all one needed to see were the smiling faces of people leaving the studio to know the band’s musical experiment was a total success.
By Kristina Charania
Photos by Sarah Whitlam