When Eleanor Friedberger hit the stage, Saturday night at Toronto's Mod Club, even with the lights dimmed she was instantly recognizable - what with her retro hair and non-dimmed stage presence - the white pants didn't hurt either. Without a pause she, brother Matthew, Toshi Yano (bass, keyboards) and Dan D'Oca (drums)lit into 'I Lost my Dog' (off of soon to be released 'Blueberry Boat' - July 13) giving the song and Eleanor's vocal more urgency by shifting into a higher gear then the recorded version. With the songs final chord still buzzing off the Mod Club's high ceilinged walls, Ms. Friedberger gave the crowd a quick look, explaining they would just keep playing without stopping between songs (she was not kidding). They charged over and through Two Fat Feet, Don't Dance Her Down, Rub Alcohol Blues, Bright Blue Tie, Blueberry Boat, I'm Gonna Run, and what is now still a blur of other songs.
With a set list lasting around 40 minutes, The Friedbergers and their band brought five weeks of constant touring to a bright, burning laser point. At the odd time the music did stop, the crowd's cheering rose as if demanding an encore - until the band crashed into another gallop through a world of globe trotting, lost dogs and fat feet.
Eleanor + Matthew Friedberger
The brother and sister encored as a duo, closing with a song I didn't recognize - Eleanor, stating they hadn't done it in quite a while, promptly forgot verses here and there (but in an endearing way). When she looked to her big brother Matt for help, he stared at her, stonefaced, shaking his shaggy head. But moments later he bailed her out to the delight of everyone - adding his workman-like vocals to her voice, which has the same sharp focus as the intense glare she would adopt from time to time. When Eleanor hurried off after thanking the crowd, brother Matt moved from his keyboards to also leave, but then turned and poked at some equipment, rising to blurt into a mic - 'Come see us again sometime'.
Yes. Yes, I will.
- the furnaces will resume touring in europe, beginning early july