Concert Review: Hercules & Love Affair in Toronto

The following was originally published on Exclaim.ca.

Hercules and Love Affair
The Mod Club, Toronto ON July 26
By Jessica Lewis

Toronto wanted to dance early into a Tuesday morning. And while the late set on a Monday probably hurt the attendance rate, those who were there to experience Hercules and Love Affair were hyped to see the project’s glittery New York main man, Andy Butler. The DJ made himself welcome by dedicating the show to the late Will Munro, a prominent artist from Toronto in the LGBT scene.

Butler was joined by one other DJ, Mark Pistel, and three singers: Shaun J. Wright, Aerea Negrot and Kim Ann Foxman. Their energy together was exciting and fun to see, as they danced and played to the crowd.

Hercules and Love Affair’s set stretched out over an hour, as they blitzed through a handful of sweaty songs, one blending into the next, until pausing for a break to praise the city or say things like, “We’re going to get nasty but first we’re going to be gentle.”

Most of the set was made up of songs off the group’s second as-yet-untitled new album, so though the track selection was unrecognizable, it gave the audience time to dance to the beats and learn the ways of the new singers. It was often hard to decipher the words, but even so, at times they sang different lyrics to music that was off Butler’s first and self-titled album.

Hercules and Love Affair of course played a few hits, including “Blind,” “Athene” and “Raise Me Up.” Though singer Antony Hegarty was on a few songs on the album, and he’s now merely a muse of Butler’s past. What fans have to look forward to on the next album will be more funk, soul and disco. The new material felt mellower than the previous work; there was no moment of climax, just one long stream of dance-worthy beats. But between the strobe lights, the music from Hercules and Love Affair always has a hint of something familiar and more than a little enjoyable.

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