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The Dakota Tavern

      Nov 1 2013

   For AroarA's final 2013 Toronto show before taking a self-imposed sabbatical (the married couple of Andrew Whiteman and Ariel Engle are expecting their first child in January 2014) the duo delivered tough versions of songs from both their self-titled e.p. and full length album In The Pines. On many of the numbers, Whiteman played white-hot new guitar leads not heard on these songs before

  Nearing the end of a cross-country tour, AroarA are not bound by a strict set-list. As soon as they began "10", Engle decided against playing it and immediately switched to a more upbeat tune. Also in the set were opening song "14", a terrific reading of "13" (a personal fave) and "11" which had not been played at the previous Toronto shows this year.

   For a couple of songs the group expanded to twice it's size with the addition of the members of Snowblink, Dan Goldman and Daniella Gesundheit on guitar and backing vocals respectfully. Their contributions were especially effective on "4" where the quartet brought a wall of noise to the evening.

   Old friends weren't limited to the stage either. Seen mingling among the crowd were ex-members from three of Whiteman's previous bands, drummer Justin Peroff from Broken Social Scene, drummer Dean Stone from Apostle Of Hustle and notable bassist Dan Kurtz from Que Vida (what, no Bourbon Tabernacle Choir or Gunlbob members were in town?) plus even Don Kerr who produced Whiteman's tragically long out-of-print 1995 solo album Fear Of Zen.

  As Sly Stone would say, it was a family affair.

Photos by Vanessa Skembaris

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