Greg White gives us a preview of Dragonette’s ‘Bodyparts’ club tour, which will be coming to the UK early 2013.
Dragonette brought their Bodyparts Tour to the Republik Night Club in Calgary earlier this month. The medium-sized club venue made for the perfect setting to see an act like Dragonette; not so large that any audience member felt distant from the band, yet not so small that there wasn’t enough room for the crowd to properly rock-out. There was a wide-range of people in attendance, mostly 18-30 year olds from all walks of life. The venue had no seating room, not that it would have been needed. During the 90 minute set, Dragonette kept the crowd fully engaged and dancing along to the pop/rock tracks, pulled from their three-album catalogue of material.
Taking to the stage promptly at 10pm, the band opened with the thumping electro-pop glam of ‘I Get Around’. This may remain the band’s most loved song to date, and it used to be what they closed their shows with. Now with three albums under their belt, it’s nice to see Dragonette opening their shows with such a strong number. Lead singer, Martina Sorbara, occasionally donned an electric guitar herself to jam along with band-mates Dan Kurtz and Joel Strummer. At other times she hopped around the stage engaging the crowd, throwing out frequent hi-fives and winks to the closely situated audience.
The set list focused mostly on material from the band’s latest album, Bodyparts. The second song, ‘Riot’, really set the tone for the fast-paced show, and they immediately launched into the massive ‘Live In This City’ right after. Two highlights were some collaborations the band have released in recent years: ‘Fire In Your Shoes’ and ‘Hello’, originally conceived with Kaskade and Mortin Solveig, respectively.
A great high point of the show was ‘Pick Up The Phone’ from 2009’s Fixin’ To Thrill. During this re-vamped version of the song, the band slipped in cover snippets of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time’, much to the delight of the crowd. Another great moment was Dragonette’s playful ode to high-end call girls, ‘Black Limousine’ from their 2007 début album, Galore. While it would have been nice to see some of the big singles from Galore in the set list, such as ‘Jesus Doesn’t Love Me’ or ‘Take It Like A Man’, it was obvious the band wanted to focus on their latest high-energy material. The old songs that did get played sat remarkably well next to their new tracks, so overall you didn’t feel cheated by not hearing some of their past singles.
The show hit a bit of a snag during the start of closing song ‘Fixin’ To Thrill’ – there seemed to be some problems with the soundboard. Martina joked about the situation and led the band in an impromptu acoustic rendition of ‘Liar’. This incidentally ended up being one of the best and most memorable moments of the show. Afterwards, the technical problems seemed to be resolved and they launched back into an absolutely rousing rendition of ‘Fixin’ To Thrill’, ending the night on a wonderfully high rock ‘n’ roll note.
Dragonette aren’t a band who rely on gimmicks or typical pop music wizardry. Martina’s strong voice doesn’t require a prominent vocal-track accompaniment to bolster it. Their instrumentation was all live and you can tell there’s a great camaraderie between them. The stage simply consisted of enough room for Martina to bounce around, and a pretty great light show that shifted to fit the moods of the various songs. Overall the night proved that Dragonette remain one of the most talented, fun, and yet still under-rated pop bands of the moment.
Dragonette will be bringing this club tour to the UK in early 2013 in support of their new album, Bodyparts. Dates are yet to be announced.
I Get Around
Live In This City
Pick Up The Phone
Fire In You Shoes
My Legs Go Out
Run Run Run
My Work Is Done
Let It Go
Liar (impromptu acoustic)
Fixin’ To Thrill