Junior Boys moisten up spongy Commodore dance floor
// JJ Brewis

For Hamilton, Ontario electronic duo Junior Boys, getting the party started all depends on how many people in the room are getting their move on. As they hit the stage at exactly 11 PM in Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom, the crowd appeared slightly disillusioned, despite the group’s attempt to immediately infect their audience with a catchy menagerie of blips and beeps.

With a set list mainly sticking to the band’s newest album It’s All True and 2009’s Beyond Dull Care, a lot of the material had a similar eerie melodic sound, all carried by vocalist/keyboardist Jeremy Greenspan’s high-range vocals, which juxtaposed electronic guru Matt Didemus’ synth beats. In tracks like the slow but building “Parallel Lines,” Junior Boys showcased a really strong penchant for turning their mellow electronic records into substantial live renditions.

Meanwhile, a plethora of lasers and strobe lights sawed through the crowd, in what seemed like an attempting to divide the loudening conversation between concert goers. The handful of fanboys in the front row sang along to every lyric; however, a major portion of the audience were too involved in smoking weed, talking about which nightclub they’d head to after the show, and leaving to get more overpriced beer to take in the show. Even Didemus looked unenthused, as he barely cracked a smile the entire set. (Two days later, Greenspan took to the group’s Twitter to say, “After a decade of touring can I just say, Matt just naturally looks like that. He IS having a good time on stage, just relax about it.”)

It was almost as if the band had stepped away for a mid-set huddle, as the second half of their performance turned up the octane, and earlier slower songs were followed by the more upbeat and infectious numbers such as “In The Morning,” which had everyone in the house dancing and requesting more.

“We’ve never played here before,” Greenspan announced to the crowd. “We’ve heard the floor is kind of spongy,” he said, and challenged the crowd to put the Commodore’s infamous trampoline-esque floor to the test.

And with that, the group immediately launched into “Double Shadow,” possibly their biggest hit, which had the crowd moving like mad, and the lasers spastically chasing the audience members around the floor. Like all artists who know when to hold back at exactly the right moment, Junior Boys left the stage, and returned for a short yet sweet encore. Their choice was a falsetto-driven version of “Banana Ripple,” a slower cool-down track from True. Leaving the crowd on a mellow note worked well for the guys, as the sweaty and energized audience members left the venue all talking of how impressed they were.

// JJ Brewis
Art Director

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