Volume 92, Issue 1

Friday, May 15, 1998

empty pockets


Getting closer to Hayden

Tom Baumgartner/Gazette

PEEKING OUT FROM UNDER THE GLEAM OF THE SPOTLIGHT. Indie-rock icon Hayden performed to a smoke-soaked crowd at The Embassy last Saturday night.

By Clare Elias
Gazette Staff

He stood on the stage, bright blue and white lights beating down upon him and as he began to play "We Don't Mind," he stopped and turned to the audience. "I'm sorry, I guess I got a little too into that song and forgot what I was singing."

Toronto musician, Hayden, strummed his guitar and sang out his soul last Saturday night at The Embassy to a quiet crowd who listened intently to every sound. Even amidst the sweat-drenched atmosphere, audience appreciation for Hayden's words and his music forced them to cram closer to the stage.

He drew in the crowd with his melodic tunes, shifting from such sorrowful and dismal songs as "Bad As They Seem" to a Sonic Youth-like spin from his latest release, entitled The Closer I Get.... Hayden's three-piece band pelted out these vibes as everyone swayed back and forth, mouthing the words.

The idle chatter that had previously filled the room dissipated once Hayden began to play. The youthful crowd listened attentively to his lyrics about wasting the day away watching television, the banality of the future and the pain of a broken heart. It's the commonality between these themes and the fan's own lives that give Hayden this deserved respect. After playing his new song, "Memphis," one spectator was heard saying, "I like that song, it's about pain and I know how that feels."

It's not only shared fears of failure and despised feelings of disappointment that are behind Hayden's increased following. His clearly evident unpretentious attitude and down-to-earth style was soaked up by the crowd. The laid back approach he established from the beginning of the show continued until the end, as he played "In September" and then quickly left the stage. This was the only fast-paced action made by the artist all evening.

The snail-pace moves of his songs are emblematic of Hayden – he watches the world from his own distance and is increasingly joined by others who desire to catch a view from the same perspective.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazette.entertainment@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998