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Gifts From Enola at Underground Cinema (August 17, 2011)

A few years ago I started using Last.fm to discover new music. One of the many bands it suggested to me that I probably never would have heard of otherwise was Gifts From Enola, a 4-piece post-rock slash sort-of-screamo band from Virginia. They sit at the heavy end of the post-rock spectrum evoking the power of bands like Pelican and Isis, but dressing it up with the melodic sense of Explosions In The Sky.

Gifts From Enola 1

Last wednesday they band stopped by Toronto to play a show at the Underground Cinema. I’d never even heard of this place before this show, so I was curious to check it out.. and low and behold, it was indeed a cinema, and it was indeed underground. The show was very DIY, almost like a house show relocated to the tiny stage infront of a cinema screen. There was a PA for the vocals, and that was that, the rest just cranked their amps and went for it while the audience sat in movie seats and watched. There was even popcorn.

Gifts From Enola 3

As I thought might happen due to Gifts From Enola’s heavier sound, the other bands on the night were all heading in the Screamo direction, a genre that isn’t really my cup of tea anymore. The Openers (I forgot to write down the other bands names, and couldn’t find them listed anywhere, so they will have to remain as ‘The Openers’) were good enough, but just not my style of music. Me and the two friends I dragged along also felt quite out of place at the venue. Of the small crowd of 20 or so people who showed up, we were probably the only ones not in or friends with one of the bands.

When Gifts From Enola finally took to the stage close to midnight it was worth the trip. They put on a great show, especially given the setup, and rather than write about it I suggest you just watch the video’s I recorded below. I got the last four songs of their all-too-short five song set. If you like it I also highly recommend tracking down one of their last two records, 2010’s Gifts From Enola, or 2009’s From Fathoms.

Live Recordings Playlist