Givers at The Drake Hotel’s Underground

To give has become such a mainstream response, now that everyone claims to be a charity-doer, and even insomuch it has become difficult to gauge its altruistic motive — for example, Rihanna‘s recent album giveaway on Tidal for 24 hours — but there remains pockets in the world where the act of giving is a rare, and inherent one. Perhaps,  it’s a southern thing, a visage of Louisiana-based hospitality that was noted, or the illusion of something warm that follows the set up of artificial spruce twigs adorning the foil-covered stage equipment, refracting colourful light outward. The main act, playing host to a decently sized crowd full of hipsters — both young, and old — created that sense of warmth that comes from  serving a bowl of gumbo.



Givers took over The Drake Hotel’s Underground venue last night, electrifying the room with a foot thumping set list following the opener, Doe Paora, who blamed “mercury retrograde problems” as the reason for her technical mishaps, a punchy joke that worked in her favour. Regardless, her synthetic reverb, and ice-shattering vocals were concluded by an untitled Tibetan hymn, and astrological buildup towards the headlining band.


Sorry to make word of this, but there was a two hour delay to the start of the show, however when it did begin, it was without flaw. Taylor Guarisco‘s (guitar/vocals)  guitar waving energy was aligned with Tif Lamson‘s (vocals/percussion/ukulele) scathing howls, which whimpered and crackled under her percussive ability; his voice added ample support, playing the low-tempo anchor to their calculated back-and-forth harmony.

Some noteworthy moments: when they played their singles like “Bermuda,” the Dr. John-infused funk anthem, “Sleeper Hold,” and the track dedicated to the ladies, “Mother of Love.”

While their previous album, In Light, was host to a traditionally folk format, and afro-centric motifs, the live show, while playing songs from their latest album New Kingdom, brought it back to their southern roots with groove-inducing side stepping, as ironic it might seem, given the futuristic direction of their music videos, and experimental work on the album, too. Maybe it was the cascading light effects that overcast the stage with a psychedelic ambiance, or the wacky pattern of both Guarisco’s and Josh Leblanc‘s blazer which offset the mildly, modern synth approach of their new record, but there was a feeling of being remotely attached to the bayou and it’s tribalistic history for the duration of the concert.

If you want to get a feel of their music, check out their music video for “Bermuda” in the link below.

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