Until last night, the last time Earthless played Toronto was all the way back in ’09. They opened for Witch at the Horseshoe, and completely blew ’em off the stage. So yeah, we’d been waiting a while for their next appearance ’round these parts. Seven years is a long freakin’ time, dude!
But while they looked a little older since the last time I remembered, this band is still one solid trio. No frills, no fancy set-up, no vocals (not until the encore, anyways)…they just set up, plug in and groove for a solid 70 minutes, barely pausing between extended numbers. While some initial riffs might have sounded familiar, these jams would veer off in all kinds of different directions, eventually coming home to roost.
I’m reminded of a story from a friend of mine, who got a music degree at Humber. Apparently, some of the jazz cats would hang out in the cafeteria, listening to Coltrane between classes. At a particularly poignant moment, someone might explain “Man, ‘trane owned those changes!”
Well, last night Earthless owned those changes. They owned them all night long.