Falling Slowly With The Acorn
June 11, 2010 — The long, warm days of summer have finally arrived in Toronto, along with fresh music. On Friday night, loyal fans packed into Lee’s Palace to see the Acorn perform their complex and interesting music, which was extremely easy to listen and enjoy.
Although starting late, the opening band Tusks — made up of Samir Khan (bass/vocals), Jordan Howard (guitar), Steve McKay (percussion), and Khan’s self-proclaimed “trusty Asian sidekick” Shaw-han Liem (keyboard/backup vocals) — contributed to the easygoing feel of the night. Admitting that they had not played a show in awhile, the band did not disappoint the early crowd, alternating between slow and more rock-heavy pieces. Their set list included the songs “Mothers vs. Sons” and “New to Old Money,” which were well-received by the crowd. Their stage presence and sound is reminiscent of an older brother’s garage band, which drew the audience closer to the stage with every song.
The venue became noticeably fuller when members of the Acorn came onto the stage, and screams from the audience rang out as guitarist and vocalist Rolf Klausener (also the principal songwriter) greeted and profusely thanked the crowd for coming.
“It’s nice to be back in Canada,” said Klausener with a smile. The Ottawa band has had success in Europe and the United States, and are now playing in Ontario throughout June.
The Acorn is also made up of Jeff DeButte (guitar), Jeffrey Malecki (drums/percussion), and Pat Johnson (drums), who along with Klausner switched around guitars, a ukulele, and positions to play percussion during the set.
What felt different about this show was the reaction of the audience. Besides those socializing by the bar, crowd was almost silent, taken back by the aura of the Acorn. Songs such as “Restoration,” “Dents,” and “No Ghost” were standouts with their eclectic chords and soft vocals.
“Hey I know it’s Friday night, but would it be cool if we played a slow song?” Klausener asked the audience. “It’s ladies choice, so you have to slow dance.”
You could hear the smiles spread across people’s faces, and as the band launched into song “This Place,” and couples slipped their fingers into each others hands and friends wrapped their arms around each other, swaying to the music.
After a set of about a dozen new and old songs, the Acorn presented an encore of mixed slow and fast pieces. Ending the night with “Flood,” the folk-indie sound rounded out an easy evening to kick off a summer weekend. If you’re updating your iPod for the season, make sure to incorporate some of the Acorn’s work for a new variety to listen to all summer long.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY GENEVIEVE LUI
*Line-up edits thanks to Jen!