Show Pics: Operators @ 3Ten (6/21)

Operators is on tour right now. I saw them live. You should, too.

Current touring lineup is Devojka, Sam Brown and Dan Boeckner. It is a tight trio across the front of the stage letting you pick if you want drums, guitar/vox or synths front and center for your earholes. I will ruin any form of review by just telling you it was so good. The collision of this band, visuals from the display screen behind and outstanding sound in the venue made for a fantastic night for fans.

DOOMSQUAD, a Toronto trio of two sisters and a brother, laid down quirky disco grooves in their opening spot as a bonus.

Click through as needed…

DOOMSQUAD is Trevor, Jaclyn and Allie Blumas. Things can get weird, quirky and fun, but for the most part, you will get a strong euro-disco backing that let’s the trio share duties with vocals and supporting instruments, including some sweetly affected flute. “General Hum” was fun, eccentric, but always driving towards a destination of dance. “Aimless” was probably a favorite; it was a journey into groove that best displayed the shared strengths of the siblings.

Operators took full advantage of the venue. Their live set has a sync’ed up video component and they were able to use projectors shining towards the crowd to broadcast bands of color in the haze. Meanwhile, the shear wall of sound they created was amazingly conveyed by the sound engineers that relished gradually cranking up the levels. Every ringing guitar note, every throbbing kick drum and layered synth bass lines had impact. The setlist meandered between Operators records and featured a few later Handsome Furs tracks. Pyramids and video from Soviet era day-in-the-life movies were the recurring themes as the band went from track to track.

All of these things was exist ways to distribute your attention to anything that isn’t Dan Boeckner, but you end up hypnotized. That nervous, vibrating tension driving energy into his guitar, his vocal chords strained but not straining, that look of surprise at the end of every song as the audience applauds and whistles in approval. I loved hearing the few Handsome Furs songs, ones like “Repatriated”, oddly blending in so well. For me, “In Moderan” was one of the tracks that you have to feel live. It was huge and happy, but tense at the same time. But holy shit, “Faithless” just plain amazing, vaulting the track into one of my favorites of the year just because I can only hear it as that live performance now. Most interestingly, only “Cold Light” made the setlist from Blue Wave, but I didn’t realize it until after the night was over. So good.

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