A long line spans along restaurants, beauty salons and other quaint shops in the extraordinary Danforth neighborhood. The demographic of the line has little to no cohesion. Old punks still rocking mohawks, Twenty-somethings sporting band t-shirts and middle-aged fans waiting in anticipation. What’s gathered all of these characters in one place? It couldn’t be a group who has been active since the early 70s…
The obscure, eccentric pair of brothers known as Sparks, made a trip to Toronto to perform following the release of their new album “The Girl is Crying in Her Latte”. Sparks, despite being extremely productive through the 70s and 80s, consistently releasing albums in the following decades. They have also found some new fans in the past few years due to Edgar Wright’s film “The Sparks Brothers”, chronicling the criminality that such a influential, varied sounding group be overlooked and underrated.’
You could feel the atmosphere when stepping through those doors. The crowd was moving and chatting with anticipation. The line for their merchandise stretched up and around the staircase to the mezzanine. You could almost feel ‘sparks’ in the air.
The crowd cheers and claps as they see Russell Mael walk out with his spliced red and black tuxedo, followed by the brilliant Ron Mael, slicked back hair, pencil-thin mustache and all. From the second they begin performing the energy is absurd. The second they finished their first song, the crowd erupted with cheers and chapping. They couldn’t believe the wave of sonic energy blasted at them; and they cheered with fervor, demanding more.
Sparks performed hits from all of their different eras and styles, narrating them through sound. Performing “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us” from their classic 1974 album, “Kimono My House” as well as “When Do I Get To Sing ‘My Way'” from their 1994 album, “Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins”. Each track got the audience more into the show, with the fanfare growing exponentially as the night carried on.
The pair is well known for being eccentric and fun, which I can easily see why. Each song has an element that makes you want to move and groove but there is humor, vulgarity or innuendos (or all three) baked into every song. Apparently an occurance at any show of theirs, Ron Mael will stand up from his piano, stand still in the center of the stage and being to dance in an amusing way, swaying his arms back and forth. With the fun element of their music and the quality of their sound, it ignited sparks of joy and enjoyment in the beautiful theater of the Danforth Music Hall.
Those sparks that flew around Danforth Music Hall caught onto every person in the crowd, igniting a new flame of love and appreciation for the entire experience that is Sparks