Show Review: Good Grief

We've not had a chance to see The Dears live. So we can't say seeing their guitarist and his band Krief is the next best thing. But we can say it was a very good thing, and the best guitar talent we've seen in a long time.

A lot was written about the grief Patrick Krief was feeling towards music as a career during the making of A Hundred Thousand Pieces. Fortunately, as he noted in his interview with N2DS2W last September, "I didn't pack it in and go the other way." And fortunately, that meant two opportunities to see Krief: at Windsor's Phog Lounge (September 2012) and P.J.'s Lager House in Detroit's Corktown this past March.

Krief's not a kid, but he's not exactly middle-aged, either. Yet A Hundred Thousand Pieces is a very mature album that translates seamlessly to live performance, with one exception. Live, you get Krief's great guitar solos. (It's one of our few disappointments about Canadian indie shows: bands rarely seem to stray from the musical script into improvisation.)

These aren't ear-blistering, frantic solos for the sake of shock and awe. With Krief, you know you're hearing the work of a gifted musician. That goes for the rest of the band as well: Roberto Piccioni on keys, Denis Paquin on drums, Jakub Zapotoczny on bass and Vincent Pelletier on guitar.

Piccioni missed the Lager House show due to visa issues, but the band worked hard to make up for his absence. They got some unexpected help in the form of a light show from two girls with illuminated hula hoops. At first a bit of a distraction, the show ended with Krief out on the floor with the audience, curled over his guitar in epic solo, with a glowing hoop swirling around his head.

Photos: Russ Gordon/N2D Images