La Sera @ The Shop @ Parts & Labour – May 13, 2012

May 23, 2012 No comments
Written by Wini Lo

La Sera - Photo by Wini Lo

In the basement of Parkdale restaurant, Parts & Labour, The Shop seems like a dark and gritty venue fit for illicit punk rock shows or an after hours fight club. But when La Sera singer, Katy Goodman’s sweet, dreamy vocals filled the room, it was proof enough that when a band sounds good, it doesn’t matter what the venue looks like.

Known as “Kickball Katy,” the bassist of indie garage pop girl band Vivian Girls, Katy Goodman is the frontwoman of Los Angeles-based dreamy pop outfit La Sera. Looking summer-ready in a blue dotted sundress and flats, Goodman was all smiles as the band took the stage. For a Sunday night on Mother’s Day, no less, there was a fairly modest turnout.

With two guitarists, Rob and Tony, drummer Matzah, and Goodman on bass, the band opened their set with the energetic “Break My Heart” from their latest album, Sees The Light.

Goodman’s vocals were spot-on and studio-perfect in every song – she impressively hit all the high notes – with minimal backing harmonies from guitarist Rob. Somewhat disappointingly, the live versions did unfortunately lack the layered female harmonies as heard on the studio albums. However, the band made up for those minuses by injecting an extra rockier punch to each song, including extended, head-banging jams and, at one point, a short interjection of a Fleetwood Mac song.

Playing through most of Sees The Light and selections from their debut self-titled album, highlights of their set included “Please Be My Third Eye” (introduced as “a song about telepathy”), “Love That’s Gone,” “I Can’t Keep You on My Mind” and “Never Come Around.”

In-between song banter revealed that the band had attended the sold-out White Fence/Ty Segall show at the Horseshoe the night before, attesting that it had been “totally crazy.” This was also La Sera’s first time performing in Toronto. Goodman was quick to point out that Vivian Girls had, among other Toronto apperances, most recently played The Shop in 2011, with some audience members nodding and saying they’d been in attendance. She also grinned and said Toronto was her “party town” (whether truthful or not!).

Closing their set with “You’re Going To Cry” from their first album, La Sera thanked the audience for coming, with Goodman requesting that the “dance music could be turned back on” – meaning that they weren’t coming back for an encore performance. Like both La Sera albums, it was a short but sweet set.

 

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