English band White Lies have been touring North America to promote their fifth album classically titled “Five,” stylized as “⠋⠊⠧⠑” in Braille. In Toronto, they sold out the Mod Club Theatre. Arriving at the venue, it didn’t seem like it was going to be sold out, it was half full by the time White Lies’ opener Ghost Love began to perform.
Ghost Love is a three piece band from Montreal consisting of a vocalist/light percussionist, bassist/keyboardist, and a lead guitarist. The music was atmospheric; epitome of “chill.” The lead singer swayed around with a wine glass at hand, lending his voice to the songs like an echo. The music acted like background music as most of the audience was still engaged with each other. The audience still clapped after each song ended so they were half ear and and half ear out. Ghost Love ended their set saying thanks to White Lies and the people who worked that night to put the show together, very appreciative to be there. They had one more song which they said was their new single “Cycle Down.” It was the only song with drums throughout so it kicked up the anticipation for the headliner.
In the half hour between Ghost Love and White Lies, the venue filled up to the brim with fans. People began to walk closer to the stage. Quite a few were sporting merch from previous shows.
10 PM clocked in and the lights went out (that feeling never gets old). White Lies walked on stage with just lighting from under their faces. Lead singer Harry McVeigh walked to the edge of the stage with arms open to the crowd, pleased with the loud entrance applause. Dramatically spotlit, the band began with “Time To Give” from their new album. The echoing keyboard and vocals from Harry gave a slow, but anthemic build up to loosen the crowd. The rest of the set was a very even mix of tracks from old to new albums. The crowd was singing word for word and just a few were going all out for the higher paced songs. From their new album they played “Time to Give”, “Never Alone”, “Kick Me”, “Tokyo”, and “Jo?”. Toward the end of their set, they played their big hits like “Big T.V”, “To Lose My Life”, and “Death”. The encore began with “Changes” from their third album which had Harry spotlit on the keyboard with his deep, echoing voice embracing the crowd in a romantic way. But the crowd was anticipating the most well known song, “Bigger Than Us”. It was last played in their encore. When it begun, it felt like the crowd was finally broken loose and everyone let it all out. Raising their arms in praise like a baptist church and singing every word. Even when their set officially ended, the audience was cheering on as the band came together in a bow and wide smiles.
White Lies’ anthemic, atmospheric, and entrancing songs have marked themselves into the 2010’s indie/alt rock scene forever. Their songs clearly connect and sink deep with fans whether it’s in the sound or lyrical content. Even when you know only three songs or their whole discography, they connect and lift you up. Great gig, check out their new album “Five.”