Ariel Pink has been making music for a long time. Emerging from the obscure, low-fi genre-bending records of his early days, 2010 proved to be his breakout year. The record in question – Before Today – appropriated synth-heavy sounds of the ‘70s and ‘80s with a cleaner, more commercial product. It is a trend that has followed his subsequent releases, including the album being celebrated at Toronto’s Velvet Underground, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson.
His set drew mostly from the aforementioned new record, with an overview of Pink’s remaining repertoire sprinkled intermittently throughout. Dressed in an orange jack-o’-lantern tee, he abruptly began the show with a noisy blast of “Another Weekend,” charging the front of the stage, embracing the high energy from fans at his feet.
If there was any question as to whether attendees of the evening were hip to Ariel Pink’s spastic, screaming, punk antics, one merely had to see the singer dive into the crowd while singing “Nighttime is Great!” to get the idea.
Judging from the crowd that had piled into the venue’s tight corridors, one can conclude that his music speaks to the more adventurous listeners of today. They danced and moshed to their heart’s content, upping the ante as the set-list built. Returning the favour, Mr. Pink stuck to his weird and winning guns. I think it is safe to say that no two shows of his are ever the same.
Words and photos by Myles Herod