Producer Kodak to Graph aka Gainsville producer Michael Maleki, began the night with what seemed at first like a DJ set of remixes and mashups. However, he would occasionally (for what seemed like 30 seconds at a time) start singing in a timid, shy sort of way so it was a little bit awkward. I preferred when he was confidently mixing beats, which thankfully was the majority of the set.
Quartet Hundred Waters are like Florida’s version of Braids. Their music is like an experimental experience to be attentively listened to. I sort of wished the Toronto crowd would shut up and pay attention to Nicole Miglis’ smooth dreamy vocals, and the soundscape created by live flute flutters, drumming and electronic flourishes. Colourful lights reflected the white mesh they used to cover their instruments and added to the atmosphere. I felt that the space between the sounds was just as integral to their music and therefore wished people were as quiet as they were for Braids.
I missed out on seeing Braids earlier this year, so this was my first experience of Flourish // Perish live. Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s unique voice (both in Blue Hawaii and Braids) command attention. Braids however is a more intimate affair. The high notes of “In Kind” impressed performing a calming effect like whale sounds. The crowd swayed and gave their full attention as pieces like “Victoria”, “December” and “Hossak” put them in a delightful trance. There’s something particularly euphoric about listening to Braids. Someone interrupted the beginning of “In Kind” with, “I watched your video 10 times”, but Raphaelle just laughed it off and continued. “Together” and “Amends” felt a quick teleport to a Blue Hawaii set, more danceable, but they were strategically placed between other songs, giving the night some satisfying variation. We were all already hooked by the end of what seemed like a set that was only 45 minutes. Everybody called for an encore that never came. Despite this, I left the Great Hall in the most tranquil state I have ever been in.