Stick Men – The Mod Club, Toronto – 30th April 2016

To promote the forthcoming new studio album, Stick Men are currently on a 5 week North American tour – The ‘Prog Noir’ Tour.  30th April saw the band arrive in Toronto for a show at the Mod Club.  Review and photos by Tim Darbyshire.

Stick Men (Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto and Markus Reuter) made a welcome return to Toronto and turned in an excellent performance to thrill the enthusiastic crowd. Playing tracks from the as yet unreleased album ‘Prog Noir’, older Stick Men material and covers by King Crimson (Tony and Pat are long term members of KC) and Mike Oldfield, the setlist was both varied and surprising.

Levin exclusively plays the Chapman Stick, Reuter plays his self-designed touch style guitar, and Mastelotto’s drumming encompasses not just the acoustic kit, but an electronic setup too, allowing him to add loops, samples, percussion, and more.

The highlights for me were ‘Level Five’, ‘Schattenhaft’ and the two longer improvs which highlighted the chemistry between the musicians on stage. I always like seeing bands at venues like The Mod Club, small 700 capacity all-standing where you can get close to the stage. The new material sounded strong, the album is out in September – why the delay? – in the meantime it’s worth picking up the double CD ‘Midori’ live in Japan 2015 (with David Cross also of King Crimson fame) at one of the shows on this tour.

Remaining ‘Prog Noir Tour’ dates:

MAY 1, SUN – Kitchener, ON, Canada (Dallas Night Club)
MAY 3, TUE – Auburn Hills, MI (Callahan’s Music Hall)
MAY 4, WED – Chicago, IL (Reggie’s)
MAY 5, THU – Chicago, IL (Reggie’s)
MAY 6, FRI – Milwaukee, WI (Shank Hall)
MAY 7, SAT – Dubuque, IA (The Venue)
MAY 8, SUN – Minneapolis, MN (Fine Music Cafe)
MAY 10, TUE – Moline, IL (Rascals)
MAY 11, WED – St. Louis, MO (The Old Rock House)
MAY 13, FRI – Louisville, KY (Headliner)
MAY 14, SAT – Columbus, OH  (Scarlet & Grey Cafe)
MAY 15, SUN – Cleveland, OH (Beachland Music Hall)

Stick Men setlist – The Mod Club Toronto, 30th April 2016

Hide the Trees
Schattenhaft
Cusp
Crack in the Sky
Time’s Insane Ashes
Mirage (Mike Oldfield cover)
Sepia
Plutonium
Horatio
Mantra
Soup
Sartori in Tangier (King Crimson cover)
Prog Noir
Level Five (King Crimson cover)
Encore:
Open, Pt. 3 – Truncheon

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