The New Pornographers @ Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre

Presented by Evenko

I fell in the love with The New Pornographers when I was twelve years old. I was an awkward pre-adolescent with truly, utterly terrible taste in music. But then I discovered the Vancouver-based indie rockers and their 2003 sophomore album, Electric Version, and I knew I found something special.

I really love the Corona Theatre as a venue. It's big enough that it doesn't feel too crowded with a couple hundred people and the restored frescos and high ceilings gives it a really elegant feeling. The stage is quite large and can at times suffer from looking a bit bare when featuring smaller acts. The New Pornographers however, boasting six members, a full drum kit and two LED-lit mixing stations had no lack of stage presence.

While the opening act, electro-pop trio Operators, was upbeat and decently well received, the real energy didn't spark until The New Pornographers took to the stage. It was clear from the get-go that the assembled crowd was made up of die-hard fans. There was nothing casual about the emphatic chanting of every lyric from a selection of songs spanning the band's six-album discography. The set was energetic and got the crowd moving early on. Vocalists A.C. Newman and Dan Bejar, who do most of the songwriting together, are veteran performers and it shows.

Newman was at ease on stage and dynamically performed his way through the hour-long set without losing any steam. Bejar, who only performs on select tracks, has a very iconic smooth tone to his voice that doesn't disappoint live.

Another highlight was Kathryn Calder, who joined the group in 2005. She also contributed admirably on vocals, at times filling in for an absent Neko Case. Though Case is not currently touring with them, she was present for select dates during the fall 2014 leg of the tour.

In the days leading up to the concert, I tried not to build my hopes up too much. I expected to hear mostly songs from their dreamily danceable 2014 album, Brill Bruisers, but I was secretly hoping for a throwback to some of their earlier work as well. I was not disappointed. To my delight, they played multiple tracks off Electric Version, including choosing "Ballad of the Comeback Kid", off the same album, as an encore song.

Nostalgia aside, the band deserves a lot of credit for offering up an enthusiastic and faithful performance. After a decade and a half of touring and making music together, The New Pornographers know how to put on a stellar show.


--Marilla Steuter-Martin is the News Director at CJLO, a Concordia journalism student, proud Maritimer, and a fan of the Oxford comma.