Jason Collett mesmerizes Call The Office

Lioness opens the show with powerful, unique grooves

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Jason Collett

Kathlene Campbell-Conlon

DEODORANT-FREE SINCE 2003. Jason Collett, with the help of openers Lioness and Zeus, entertained the crowd Friday at Call The Office with a high energy and dance-inducing show.

Jason Collett’s onstage chemistry with a crowd comes from his incredible musical capacity and ability to deliver original, genre-blurring indie rock. A variety of talent from Toronto brought the big city music scene to the intimate atmosphere of Call The Office and commanded over a mesmerized audience.

The lineup displayed the impressive range of indie music coming out of Toronto, beginning with Lioness, a female fronted trio. Lead singer Vanessa Fischer was roaring with rich vocals over pulsating electronic beats, embedding the repetitive hooks of each song into every spectator. The combination of powerful singing, distinct bass and solid drumming in the noticeable absence of a guitar gave Lioness a unique groove made for dancing.

Energy continued to build as Zeus took the stage with experimental folk sounds that drew from classic rock influences. Zeus is better known as the current touring band for Jason Collett, but is establishing a reputation for exciting performances in its own right.

Members transferred between instruments while remaining in sync, recalling the musical virtuosity of The Band and wowing the audience. Zeus demonstrated the level of experience and expertise that are necessary to back one of the more influential figures in the Canadian indie music scene.

Jason Collett is a singer and songwriter whose collaborations over the years have ranged from Feist to Metric. He gained success after joining super group Broken Social Scene and playing guitar on its debut album, You Forgot It In People. Collett left the band to pursue his solo career and is now touring in support of his most recent work, Here’s To Being Here. The album is a departure from the extravagant sound that characterized the horns and strings in Broken Social Scene. The new direction for Collett means a stripped down style that is more conducive to live performance.

Collett delivered songs that drew the audience in by starting slowly from guitar riffs and building the intensity into rhythmic crescendos. His warm and familiar voice navigated a spectrum of influences that ran from classic 70s rock to alternative country ballads.

Collett moved from closed eye absorption in the tunes to flailing abandonment during the solos. His dominance on stage allowed him to actively lead the band into brilliant harmonies that revealed the amount of knowledge and comfort the members have with one another.

As the set drew to a close, the audience was up and dancing to the well-crafted lyrics that Collett, with the collaboration of Zeus, made come alive. The response of the crowd brought the band back for an encore and made the return of Jason Collett to London an event not to be missed.

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