Sam Roberts Band – Toronto, ON pt 1

I’ve decided to divide this post into two separate posts – this one will discuss the show and how it was in general, and the other will talk more about the logistics and audio production.

Sam Roberts Band played at Massey Hall in Toronto on June 3rd and 4th.

Massey Hall. I apologize to all of my photog friends for going hipstamatic-crazy in this post.

It was good to see the guys fresh off their great shows at Malkin Bowl and Sasquatch Festival. It was a shame I didn’t get to join in all the fun, but it made these shows extra special to be a part of.

The best part of working with them is that everyone just gets along so well. Not only the band but the crew too, which isn’t always the case. Denton and Phil (Tour Manager and FOH mixer, respectively), have been good friends of mine for years now and it’s always great working with them because they are both very, very good at what they do.

An Empty Massy Hall.

The other undeniable factor that really made this show special was the fact that it was in Massey Hall. I’ve done 4 other shows in this room before but it has always been as an opening act. When opening up here it’s usually pretty stressful since openers rarely get more than 30 minutes to play, and are rushed off the stage – it’s hard to enjoy the experience as much as you do as a headliner.

Dave Nugent and his fans

One of the great things about Massey is the geometry of the room. The way the balconies wrap around the side makes it feel like the audience is right on top of you. The audience on the top balcony at the side are literally overhanging the stage – the only disadvantage to these seats is that some of the stage is blocked visually by the PA system and lighting.

SRB's Set List from Saturday June 4 2011

Sam played two different sets between night one and night two, and I think I really enjoyed night two’s more because he threw in Dead End (my fave) and Uprising Down Under. I took my in-ear monitors out during Uprising so I could hear it in the room. It’s a bit echoey on stage because the room is so tall and was built before modern-day sound reinforcement, but it was still nice to listen to.

Both shows went off without a hitch, and both nights Sam, being the class act that he is, took time to shake hands of quite a few audience members before walking off stage.

If you don't feel like singing along to Brother Down, you have problems.

Class act, all the way.

Stay tuned later this week for my audio nerd post.

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