Just when you think performance art can’t take it any further, comes Squid Lid, a Toronto performance-band and blows the fuse off your brains, with a show that makes you dance, laugh and drop your jaw in astonishment.
The set-up was perfect, you turn the corner and come into close quarters with a giant clown (Ben) standing in a ring of bones and spinning fire… you then walk through haunted-house like maze via side entrance and brush with weird and fantastical figures, slowly to realize these are the other party-goers. Yes, you too are dressed up, and pARTicipation is what we’re after, and we’ve got it, loads of it.
Enter Kitch which is a dark and spooky high-ceiling 2-story bar at the edge of downtown west, it’s perfectly dressed up and lit in black light. The place is packed and the music is tech-industrial with good, warm, sound. I walk deeper into the room and the burners are already here, together with reps of other local arts communities I recognize such as Om, Suma, circus people, etc. I like it already.
Squid Lid comes up around 1am… two guys wearing lab coats and wicked masks playing keyboards and home-made-instruments. They start with circus-ish electro-pop tunes, and surrounded by beautiful decor of skulls, x-rays of hands and sea creatures, powered by black-light.. the effect is amazing and we’re getting into it right away, people push right towards the front of the stage, the immediacy is complete and all encompassing. This is so far out. We look at each other and someone says, “you’d think we’re on the playa”.
With each track, which is a complete show by itself, Squid Lid cast changes masks, which are weird, scary, funny, amusing, you name it… the music is good, dancy, and the beats match the outfits with elements of techno, industrial, and drum and bass. The audience is ecstatic and the air is heavy. Simply one of the best live shows I’ve ever been to – period.
Oh yeah, there’s a surprise as well… can’t tell you what it is… you’ll have to catch Squid Lid live in one of their upcoming shows!
Hans Ohm took over the decks for the late shift, the nicest guy wearing the scariest mask and with the long dreads he’s looking like the dude from Alien Vs. Terminator. Hans drops the heaviest beats of vinyl decks. How can it get any better??
(scroll down for more pics & info)
Squid Lid next shows:
Dec 19 @ The Rivoli – album release party
Dec 29 @ 292 College – Pre-NYE party w/ House of Dust (that’s us!)