Fresh off a whirlwind tour that included stops across the United States, Blind Pilot recently played to a packed crowd at the Toronto Opera House. The indie, folk-rock band wooed their fans with all of the tracks on We Are the Tide, their most recent album and a select few favorites from 3 Rounds and a Sound, the CD that garnered them quite a following when it was released in 2008.
The show marked Blind Pilot’s second stop in Toronto this summer; the band opened for the Dave Matthews Band at the Molson Canadian Amphitheater in June. The Varsity sat down with Blind Pilot in their retro-rocker tour bus before the show and discussed the band’s ongoing tour.
Drummer Ryan Dobrowski was enthusiastic about the band’s show in Interlochen, Michigan. “All these young people who were really enthusiastic about music were there. It was great. And we got to swim in the lake.”
But aside from taking leisurely dives in the Great Lakes, it’s been a busy tour for the Portland natives. Having made 23 stops since May, Blind Pilot has hit up some big cities and played some impressive venues, including one of Toronto’s most historic concert halls.
Blind Pilot consists of Israel Nebeker and Dobrowski, its two original members, as well as Luke Ydstie, Kati Claborn, Ian Krist and Dave Jorgensen, who were incorporated into the band during Blind Pilot’s last tour. .
“We met the rest of the band [while we were] recording [3 Rounds and a Sound],” Nebeker said. “So we met them at the studio and asked them to play a certain kind of trumpet line. This [album] was way different [because] we were a six piece band [from the start], all in the studio together.”
According to Nebeker, working together as a fully formed band from the get-go has certainly made an impact on the overall sound of We Are the Tide, especially in comparison to 3 Rounds and a Sound.
“It took a lot longer to record, [because there were so] many ideas. The songs ended up being quite a bit fuller in sound,” he said.
Blind Pilot’s performance at the Toronto Opera House was a testament to the success of their modified sound. A packed theatre waited to hear the band perform tracks from their new album, and Nebeker’s distinctly raspy, but nevertheless melodic, voice was met with screams and applause from the audience.
The concert itself had a great energy that kept the crowd enthusiastic throughout. At certain points during the performance, they stood mesmerized by Blind Pilot’s sound, while at others, people were on their feet, singing along with the music. The bands members’ interaction with the crowd was definitely a highlight of the concert, but perhaps the best moment of the performance came at the end of the show, when Blind Pilot jumped down into the crowd and played “3 Rounds and a Sound.”
Between their incredible talent (the band sounds just as good, if not better, live) and their enthusiastic interaction with their fans, Blind Pilot delivered a memorable concert and an extraordinary experience.