Synth Rock’s Dynamic Duo

When it comes to matching co-presenting concert acts, some bands just have the right synergy. Case in point are Montreal’s The Box with Images In Vogue whose members are split between Toronto and Vancouver.

Friday, November 22nd, The Box and Images In Vogue performing at Toronto’s Revival Club, was the fourth time the two new wave retro electro-rockers have joined forces to perform on the same bill.

Images In Vogue at the Revival Toronto Nov22 - Photo By Andrew Clowater
Images In Vogue at the Revival Toronto November 22, 2019 – Photo By Andrew Clowater

It all started two years ago when they appeared together at Ed Sousa’s annual MacDonald’s House charity event at the Classic Bowl in Mississauga. This lead to a double bill at Kitchener’s Maxwells followed by a performance by the two bands with The Spoons at Dan Cooper’s Royal Lepage Women’s Shelter charity on September 22nd at Oakville’s Theatre for Performing Arts before appearing together again in Toronto.

The synergy of their synth-rock musings definitely has a retro appeal in Southern Ontario and many of the Revival gatherings have attended a number of their previous appearances.

Images In Vogue at the Revival Toronto Nov 22 - Photo by Andrew Clowater
Images In Vogue at the Revival Toronto November 22, 2019 – Photo by Andrew Clowater

Images In Vogue kicked off Friday’s performance with a well-rehearsed set that traditionally launches with the instrumental “Drowned Girl” which segues into their biggest hit “Lust For Love” In total, their 13-track setlist shows that lead vocalist Dale Martindale is still a riveting frontman while twin keyboard players Joe Vizvary and Glen Nelson provide the instrumental driving force.

After Images In Vogue concluded their set with another well-received number “Call It Love”, The Box took over, revamping their setlist to feature “Ordinary People” at the beginning of their set instead of one of their `money tracks’ at the conclusion of the evening.

The club venue atmosphere allowed the band to stretch out on tracks like “Temptation” and “So Beautiful” with keyboardist Guillaume Jodoin assuming the spotlight. The band’s latest single “Hey Little Rock Star” is also growing in status as a highlight live track and band standards like “Carry On” and “Crying Out Loud For Love” generated a strong crowd response.

The confusion occurred when the band concluded their regular set by performing “Safety Dance” and their big hit “Closer Together”. Their faithful follows quickly deducted The Box had played all of their hits. So what were they going to do for an encore?

The Box at Revival - Photo by Andrew Clowater
The Box at Revival at the Revival Toronto November 22, 2019 – Photo by Andrew Clowater

That answer came in the form of a cover of Tears For Fears mega-hit “Shout” with lead vocalist Jean-Marc Pisapia and back up singer Isabelle Lemay nailing the track even though the band had only rehearsed the song the night before. It was a masterstroke in that it got the whole crowd on their collective feet singing along while allowing guitarist Francois Bruneau, bassist Dan Volj and keyboardist Jodoin to execute an instrumental work out.

The Box are promising even more surprises when they perform Friday, March 6th, 2020 at Oshawa’s Regent Theatre.

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