|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
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Live in Concert
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Live in Concert
The Horseshoe Tavern
September 30, 2000
After an ambitious yet barely discernible opening set by Toronto's Mean Red Spiders, the UK folk-pop-rock act Mojave 3 took the stage before a tossed salad of twenty-somethings, complete with cardigans, hemp necklaces, retro-framed eye wear, blur T-shirts and messy hair.
Mojave 3 received modest fanfare, opening with "My Life in Art," a wispy, country-tinged track from their latest album, Excuses for Travellers. From there, the six-piece band played a 90 minute set, reflective of their chameleon-like style.
For longtime fans of the independent band, Mojave 3 played a significant portion of their first two albums, including catchy numbers like "Tell Me What You See" and "Yer Feet." Still, they did an excellent job of showcasing songs from their new release, including the album opener, "In Love With a View," followed by the gentle and delicate, "She Broke You So Softly" and the rousing "Return to Sender."
Although their live sound does not deviate considerably from their studio albums, Mojave 3 are quite capable of putting on a good live show. Instead of relying on the guitar-bass-drums formula, the band uses organ and pedal steel to give their sound a fuller, more distinct flavour.
Unfortunately, this flavour brings with it no attitude whatsoever. Mojave 3 are not very cosmetic in their stage appearances, giving the audience a sense of their true authenticity. They dress very casually, smoke and drink on stage between songs and say little to the audience. Finally, while building a song's climax, they play to each other instead of to the audience.
Although the evening ended with a quick encore, during which time the drummer left the stage before the song was even over, Mojave 3 put on a fine show.