Concert Review: A.A. Bondy, Dec. 3, El Mocambo, Toronto
I have to admit that I was half loaded before I even arrived at the El Mocambo to see A.A. Bondy on Thursday night, December 3. I had dinner earlier that evening with the CEO from an organization with which I do volunteer work, and the wine was following freely. Weeee! So the first thing I do when I walk into the El Mo is tell Bondy’s merch dude that he is selling his CDs too cheaply ($10 CND) and he should be selling them for way more. Who the fuck am I to lecture rock stars, especially when they are having an album fire sale? So, after getting more wine and feeling like an idiot, I went back and bought three CDs (two from Bondy, one from opener Willy Mason).
I was slightly surprised by the stage setup given the review that I had read from a show the previous week. Bondy was preforming solo – no backing band in sight. Bondy later noted that one of his band mates had to go home for an emergency. But being solo didn’t deter his performance, nor the fan’s enthusiasm. Bondy repeatedly noted how he couldn’t believe how many people showed up for his gig, and how he appreciated the crowd’s energy since he had been on the road over 60 days, and this was turning out to be one of his best shows.
In addition to playing wonderful, dark folk music, which included pretty much everything off of his two solo albums, plus Hank Williams Sr. and Tom Waits covers, Bondy also entertained the crowd with hysterical stage banter. He cracked everyone up with tales of crossing the US/Canada border, “No we don’t have any marijuana, we got really fucking high last night. Fucking morons.”
I was completely impressed with how knowledgeable the crowd was. Most of them sang along to the tracks from 2007’s American Hearts. And I had to laugh when Bondy asked the crowd if anyone had a light or medium guitar pick, and a half dozen young twenty-something boys dug into their pockets and pulled one out. Ha! I need to start carrying guitar picks to shows. Usually the rock stars just ask for smokes. Which Bondy also did.
Bondy continues his tour this week in the northeast US. Check him out, and make sure to buy a CD.
Willy Mason opened the show. I don’t really know anything about him other than he has a spectacular voice and he is from Massachusetts. I purchased the album Where Humans Eat because the merch dude told me to. I like it. Check him out.