Thanks to UTSU, incoming students got a taste of Canadian indie at the annual Frosh Concert on Friday, August 7 on the UC back field. Toronto’s Hidden Cameras unleashed a set of brightly despondent folk rock, as the 12-member band (with a guest choir of local hipsters) delivered tracks from Awoo and Mississauga Goddamn (no offense UTM) with a shimmering tenacity. Frontman Joel Gibb, looking like Freddie Mercury if he’d joined the Backstreet Boys, unleashed a melodious croon over thin strips of electric guitar and rough undercurrents of strings, French horn, and keyboards by U of T alumna Maggie MacDonald. Tracks like “Doot Doot Ploot” and “Learning the Lie” turned into the church sermon you always wanted, with organ pounding, hand clapping, and yes, matching robes.
After his set U of T alumnus Gibb offered some advice to frosh, “Assigned reading is a joke… Keep yourself busy in oher ways. Make art.”
Next came the romance, from Montreal’s Stars. Amy Milan and Torquil Campbell continued their tortured love affair onstage, singing into the same microphone and harmonizing star-crossed lyrics to hits like “Elevator Love Letter” and “The Night Starts Here”. The crowd was revved, as the dark bass lines and synthesized keys pounded through new material from the just-released In Our Bedroom After The War.