Kicking Down the Door with Whitehorse

I recently took in a concert at the London Music Hall with a good friend of mine. The band playing that night was Whitehorse – a Canadian folk-rock, husband-and-wife duo from Hamilton, Ont.

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(Photo courtesy of London Music Hall)

My boyfriend introduced me to Luke and Melissa’s music when we first started dating and I became an instant fan.

I first saw Whitehorse (and my friend was there too!) in July 2013 at Hillside Festival in Guelph where they closed out the main stage. It was my first time attending Hillside Festival and seeing Whitehorse live made it even more exciting and special.9425402706_1647bf19a1_z

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Whitehorse at Hillside Festival 2013. (Photos by Steph Smith/@vagabond__photography)

I saw them again a couple months later in Waterloo at Starlight Social Club’s 10th Anniversary event.10526528374_bd5eaa77ff_z

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Whitehorse at Starlight Social Club 10th Anniversary. (Photos by Steph Smith/@vagabond__photography)

The night at London Music Club was particularly special because I had won a pair of tickets, plus a VIP meet & greet with Luke and Melissa, and I got to share it all with my friend Duncan. Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 1.28.13 PMApart from my boyfriend, I don’t think there’s anyone else who would have enjoyed it more than Duncan – I am so happy he could go with me!23658361_10155743953597464_5787873978799978188_nThe VIP meet & greet was hosted by Big Rock Brewery and included meeting Luke and Melissa a taking a photo with them, an intimate acoustic performance, a Big Rock Brewery x Whitehorse t-shirt and pint glass, as well as a signed copy of their new album Panther in the Dollhouse.24825866_10155790155477464_1645388485_oThe show opener was Begonia, who I really enjoy. I saw her at Hillside Festival this past July so I was excited to see her perform again.

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Begonia at Hillside Festival 2017. (Photo by Steph Smith/@vagabond__photography)

Here are some of my favourite Begonia songs:
Out of My Head – Begonia
Lady in Mind – Begonia
Juniper – Begonia

When it was time for Whitehorse to take the stage, Luke and Melissa made a point of “kicking down the door” of London Music Hall, and they did not disappoint.24879477_10155790129707464_1483591000_o24726236_10155790129467464_506099338_o24740184_10155790129822464_1136196990_o24825959_10155790131582464_2074414780_o24726067_10155790134852464_1568516218_oWhitehorse performed a lot of songs off their new album, with a handful of older favourites, such as ‘Achilles’ Desire’ (The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss), ‘Tame as the Wild Ones’ and ‘Evangelina’ (both off of Leave No Bridge Unburned). It was awesome to hear Panther in the Dollhouse live because it is such unreal album that really tells a story:

“The pair makes a shift on this album from writing autobiographical songs to writing songs they refer to as “anti-fairytales,” written from the point of view of a cast of mostly female characters who grapple with issues of life, death, sex and love, all floating in an atmosphere of cinematic desert-noir.”

According to Whitehorse: “The title came from a dream. The dollhouse is a place of wholesome, conventional life. It is a perfect depiction of grown-up life based on childhood ideals and social conditioning. Enter the panther and suddenly the animal instincts we are all born with are knocking over these perfectly placed people and furniture. For better or worse, there is no ignoring this creature.”

CBC First Play: Whitehorse Panther in the Dollhouse

I LOVE every. single. song. on Panther in the Dollhouse.

Honestly.

My favourite songs of the night were obviously the two older ones I mentioned above, but also Panther in the Dollhouse‘s ‘Nighthawks’, ‘Boys Like You’, ‘Manitoba Death Star’, and ‘Epitaph in Tongues’.

At the end of the set they left the stage only to come back moments later to play a rendition of Neil Young’s ‘Ohio’ – SO GOOD. I loved hearing those bouncy riffs come out of Luke’s signature White Falcon.

It was an amazing night, to say the least. I am still thinking about it!

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