Photo Credits: Lillyanne Szabo

November 15th was a cold night in Toronto, but inside Lee’s Palace it was about to get hot and sweaty. Fans of Kero Kero Bonito, an indie-pop trio with a strong cult following, congregated inside the venue in anticipation to see the band play tracks of their latest album Time ‘n’ Place. This recent release is a divergence from their prior works. While the band is known for making precious indie pop music about the little things in life, Time ‘n’ Place incorporated grunge, punk, and harsh noise, which gave the band a more frenetic, unpredictable sound.  But their fans loved it, and were ready to go crazy. The night began with the opening band Tanukichan. The four piece played shoegaze tracks that helped get the crowd hyped up for KKB. The tracks were calmer and unornamented, but the band created a vibe that fit right in with the coziness of Lee’s Palace. Fans were bobbing along to the band’s chill tunes in the pit, and couples on the side seating huddled closer together. And although Tanukichan appeared to have a small amount of stage fright, they received much love from the audience.


Then, shortly after their opener, Kero Kero Bonito came on and shredded their album opener “Outside”. They went on to play their older, cutesies songs like “Lipslap” and “Flamingo”, but the audience erupted into a giant mosh pit. This had a lot to do with their setup. KKB opted for machine gun drums that were reminiscent of a hardcore band. One band member had a set up of synthesizers and samplers that came in hand for noisier tracks like “You Know How It Is” and standout single “Only Acting”. It also made it easier to dirty up some of their cleaner material from previous albums.


Vocalist Sarah Midori Perry met her bandmates, producers Gus Lobban and Jamie Bulled, with an incredible energy. When the band played some of their early singles, like “My Party” & “Sick Beat” she bounced around the stage. During the bridge in Bonito Generation track “Break”, a song about taking time out of your day to relax, she picked up a pink, novelty telephone and gleefully said the iconic line, “Yo, Gus and Jamie, it's Sarah/Just to let you know that I don't wanna do anything today/So I'll see you later, bye!”. In the middle of songs, she screamed “You’re tearing me apart, Lisa!”, a line from the camp classic The Room. Although Time ‘n’ Place has some hard themes such as depression, losing innocence with age, the death of loved ones, Sarah had a jubilant smile the entire show.


But what made the night truly special was the fans. Young women bedazzled their eyebags to look like Sarah’s stage makeup. One of the crowdsurfers was wearing a shrimp costume, a reference to the single cover of “Flamingo”. An audience member high faved their guitarist when the he played on top of the bar table. The audience was fully committed to the artists they came to see. And Kero Kero Bonito had so much lot of love to return to them. Gus was actually wearing Alvvays merch, a sign that the band also loves the city’s music scene. Before they played their encore, Gus stopped to tell everyone that Toronto is one of Kero Kero Bonito’s places to tour. But it wasn’t a written statement. His sentiment was completely genuine.


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