Published Sep 10, 2010It wasn't your average night at the Biltmore Cabaret: the usually buzzing nightclub remained hushed for most of the night, as concertgoers sat politely in the chairs and tables that had been pulled up onto the floor in front of the stage. The atmosphere wasn't exactly electric, but the mellow mood was perfectly suited for headliners Daniel, Fred and Julie's stripped-down folk ballads.
Locals Andy Bishop and Courtney Ewan opened the night with a brief duo performance, Bishop switching between guitar and lap steel as the pair harmonized sweetly on a handful of eerie tunes. Next up was Toronto songstress Lisa Bosikovic, who showed off her impressively elastic vocals with a set that varied between acoustic folk and keyboard-driven new wave. It was pretty stuff, although her awkward between-song banter (which mostly concerned how happy she was to be there) put a slight damper on the fun.
Before Fred Squire and Julie Doiron came on stage, Daniel Romano treated the crowd to a set of solo songs. The dusty folk stylings of his original songs could have easily passed for traditionals, as he lulled the crowd until a broken string brought his performance to an abrupt end. When the full trio came on to close out the night, they never remained together on stage for long; instead, their collaborative tracks were interspersed with brief solo sets from each member (including another from Romano). The star of the night was Squire, who charmed the crowd with his comically oversized sunglasses and hilarious banter ― this included cracking jokes every time the toilets flushed in the quiet venue. It was clear that the audience's silence was out of respect rather than boredom: once the show was over, the crowd finally kicked up some noise, calling the group out for an encore even after the house music had come on.