Penguin Prison and Miike Snow was a great way to kick off the month on Tuesday night! May usually means good weather is finally here and lots of good shows to come! These guys definitely didn’t disappoint in the music department. Before Penguin Prison even began playing the first thing they did was thank everyone for coming out. This New York City band was completely genuine, really nice and above all were really entertaining to listen to. This electro-pop band are known for their exciting remixes and catchy tunes made with a synthy fast-paced beat. The trio consists of front man, Chris Glover, along with Conrad Stern-Ascher and Ernesto Karolys. During their performance we definitely saw lots of energy from Chris as he cruised the stage and even played the guitar and pretty awesome little drum solos. We love when artists prove to us that they really love music and experiment with different instruments on stage!
Early on we heard one of our favourite songs (even though it is one of their older ones) “A Funny Thing”. We weren’t the only ones loving it because this was the song that really got the crowd excited. After we heard “Fair warning,” which also got people dancing. In between songs, Chris even joked with the crowd about what a “Canadian Tuxedo” really was- he said for next time he’ll be sure to wear it properly, including the jean jacket. The most outstanding part of the performance was when they covered Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans”. We definitely love their original songs, but this cover was a really awesome take on the song, and surprisingly they took it from female to male vocals really well! The remixes they come out with are usually always great because they know how to keep just enough of the original song not to kill it, and add on that extra bit of awesome to make it that much better! The end of their performance concluded with a newer song of theirs called “Don’t F**k With My Money”, and this left the crowd on a nice high point before Miike Snow went to hit the stage.
Between the performances it was an unfortunate wait of almost 45 minutes. The wait got people either really anxious, mad or that much more excited. Needless to say despite the sweaty wait, the performance proved to definitely be worth it. The sound and light check during the wait was probably one of the most dramatic we’ve ever seen with the suspenseful music and lights, but this paved the way for the band’s entrance. The lighting began with a fiery orange as Christian Karlsson, Pontus Winnberg and Andrew Wyatt came out in their black hoodies and golden masks.
This set a very dark, emotional atmosphere, which is and also isn’t like their music. Their music is a mixture of indie, electro and pop and can be very bright and lively, but they do have some songs that are a little bit heavier. We like their music because no matter what mood you’re in, there’s always something suitable from them to listen to. During their performance they went in a nice flow from highs to lows back up again, which was great because after people were dancing (and there was lots of dancing) people got a little bit of breathing time. One of the first songs that really got people dancing early on happened to be on of our favourites and one of Miike Snow’s latest songs “The Wave”. From there came a song from their last album called “Cult Logic,” then to another popular classic, “Silvia”.
We absolutely loved the ending they added onto the live version of “Silvia”. It was different from the album and it got people very excited about the little twist they put on it. We were very glad that they decided to incorporate an equal mixture of newer and older songs. Sometimes it’s not the greatest thing when artists leave out their older stuff, because those are often the songs that people have had the longest time to connect with. Andrew, who is the lead vocalist, also showed us his talents with other instruments as he played some interesting looking finger thing and he headed back and forth from the piano off to the side, to the middle of the stage. From “Happy To You,” their new album, it still seems like “Paddling Out” is one of the most popular songs, because that night it got almost everyone jumping up and down and singing along! Again after really lively songs like that one, Miike Snow also played slower songs like “Black & Blue” and “Burial” to ease the crowd again. Interestingly enough, through the entire performance we’re not really sure if any of the band members smiled. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it was really nice to see Christian really start getting into the performance and finally crack a smile during the encore with “Animal”. We’re not surprised he did at that point though because the crowd during this song was absolutely amazing.
Everyone was dancing and singing along to help out Andrew. He said that after 6 weeks of being on the road he would love the crowd to help him out for the sake of his throat. This was really nice of him to invite people to sing along, and he definitely knew what he was doing, because even though it’s an older one, this is probably their most popular song to date. Everyone was dancing and having a great time to this song, and luckily we were able to get a short video of the performance and the crazy light show (check below). Consider this a sneak peak if you aren’t/weren’t able to attend.
As their last song, it wasn’t a big shocker that people were still singing “Animal” all the way to their cars and cabs. With such a catchy tune, and a great performance, why wouldn’t they be?! We had a great time at this show and can’t wait until both Miike Snow and Penguin Prison are back in Toronto. If they have any upcoming shows in your area, definitely check them out at their websites!