Atlanta-based indie rock band Manchester Orchestra came to Toronto at HISTORY on a Saturday night. The show was rescheduled after COVID restrictions cancelled Manchester Orchestra’s original date in March. There was no question that a full-sized crowd couldn’t wait any longer to see this band return to Toronto, and it would be a night to remember.
The lights dimmed out, signalling the arrival of Manchester Orchestra onstage. Andy Hull, Robert McDowell, Tim Very, and Andy Prince waved to the excited crowd before the start of “Inaudible,” the first track of their latest album, The Million Masks of God. As the song picked up in the end, the crowd listened attentively through the band’s banging guitar riffs and Andy’s powerful vocals. For those who listened to The Million Masks of God, it would be no surprise the following three songs would be from the album: “Angel of Death,” “Keel Timing,” and “Bed Head.” Again, the songs transitioned smoothly, which got the crowd moving their heads.
Since lead singer Andy Hull was away for his daughter’s birthday, he decided to take a moment and record a video of the crowd singing happy birthday to his daughter. It was definitely the highlight of the night. The rest of the show was the band playing some of their old favourites such as “Cope,” “Virgin,” and “The Gold.” As Manchester Orchestra played the ending of “The Alien,” Andy sang a snippet of “I Know How to Speak” before singing the beginning lyrics of “The Sunshine.” He pointed to a fan with a smile who seemingly knew the transition would happen. Later on, some of the band members walked off the stage while Andy and Robert stayed to perform acoustic versions of “The Internet” to a transition of “Telepath.”
Andy thanked the crowd before walking off stage, which got the crowd roaring for an encore. Manchester Orchestra returned onstage to perform “Shake it Out,” a banging old classic which got the audience moving their heads with delight. Andy thanked the crowd again and promised they would be back to Toronto sooner than the last time before the band closed out the show with “The Silence.” A song that rose to popularity during the COVID-19 Pandemic, it was undoubtedly the song everybody knew and was excited to hear. Hull took the mic and let the mic stand fall to sing the final lyrics before the band thanked the roaring audience for a memorable night. It took a few months longer to see Manchester Orchestra live, but many can say it was well worth the wait. The crowd and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Manchester Orchestra the next time they come to Toronto.
Andy Hull – Lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Robert McDowell – Lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Tim Very – Drummer, percussion, backing vocals
Andy Prince – Bass
2. Angel of Death
3. Keel Timing
4. Bed Head
5. I Can Barely Breathe
8. The Maze
9. The Gold
10. The Alien
11. The Sunshine
13. The Internet (Acoustic)
14. Telepath (Acoustic)
15. Shake it Out
16. The Silence
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Andrew Wu is a music photographer based in Toronto, Canada. His work focuses on capturing and documenting special moments of performers during concerts and various events. His photos have been featured such as music publications in Spill Magazine, Imprint Entertainment, and Patchchord News. In 2020, he completed his BFA in photography at OCAD University.
Andrew is a massive fan of music, as he enjoys a variety of genres such as pop, alternative, rock, hardcore, and metal.