Toronto, ON

August 21, 2002 ... Lee's Palace


  • Peter Pona: I just returned from the Hope Sandoval concert. I waited nine years to see this show and just as I was showing my i.d to the bouncer a person came up to him and said, "I just got the word that there are no cameras or recording devices aloud for the evening."

    So sure enough just as I was able to get in with my camera, the ticket lady says, "'re gonna have to wait a sec". She comes back a couple seconds later and won't let me through. I had black and white film and everything, shit man!

    The lights lower, they come out on stage, the crowd applause, and they start in on 'Lose Me On The Way'. Personally I thought the guitars were just a bit too loud, it got better as the songs played on though. Minimal hecklers but Hope seemed irritated anyways. Some people did sneak in cameras after all (GRRRRR!!!!)

    It was a great performance. A lot of people but not too crowded and accessability to the front was always possible. I can't believe I was standing like twelve feet away from her. It was the best. At least a flicker of light would 've been nice though, to see her whole face for a second, clearly.

    Then some Dufusidiotwindbag!! decides to start booing, and well, I guess everyone can thank that idiot for a lack of an encore for the evening.

    But I was brave and after realizing that I probably won't ever see them again, or if I do it'll be in like twenty years, I decided to jump up on stage and steal a setlist, Ha! Ha! Ha! I also got a t-shirt, four pins, and four magnet sets of three. Too bad we didn't get an encoure.............I would've liked to hear more.

  • Michael Faulkner: I attended the Lee's Palace show on August 21st and have to say that of all concerts I have attended in my life that this was the most disappointing. The Soledad Brothers put on a stellar set and really got the crowd geared up and excited to see Hope and the band. I had travelled 200 miles to come up for the show and when they came on stage after an incredibly long wait, you could tell something was wrong.

    I stood less than 5 feet away from Hope and the band and could not see any of them, the light was so dim. Hope has very lovely features and it was a real shame that she chose to use such poor lighting. The set list indicated that there would be 11 songs and a 2 song encore. After watching Hope become increasingly more and more uncomforatble she chose to cut 3 songs form the set Drop, Silver & Gold, and Around My Smile. As well there was no encore. What a huge disappointment after waiting so long to see her.

    I still very much enjoy Hope's music and wish her all the best with her career. I only wish that when paying $23.75 for the ticket that the show would have left a better impression. It was obvious after the show that many fans were disappointed and also there was a gloomy feeling emanating from the people I saw after the show. I will say however that when the songs were being performed they were quite beautiful, especially the acoustic numbers like Butterfly Mornings when you could actually hear Hope's voice. I hope that the rest of the tour goes successfully and that the general mood improves within the band. It was obvious that the band was visibly upset that 5 songs were cut from the set. Keep making beautiful music and smile!!!

  • G. Comstock: Hope's concert in Toronto will be remembered more for the disappointment than for the music. The first let-down was Hope's complete lack of acknowledgement of the audience. Not one Hello or Thank You or smile or anything. She's certainly not the only musician to take up this too-cool-for-you pose, but, to me, it's part of the intimate "live" experience to be acknowledged by the people you've come to share an evening with.

    That's a strike for Hope, but I must criticize the crowd at Lee's Palace as well. At the back of the club is a bar and "smoking section" (restricted only in theory). Why someone would pay $25 to see a musician they presumably enjoy, then laugh and talk loudly around the bar, is a question I can't answer. It was distracting and irritating. It wasn't like Hope and the gang are a wall of noise that drowns them out. This rude yammering, combined with the unavoidable clanging of bottles by the staff at the bar, was obviously audible to Hope, who finally graced us with some words. Paraphrasing: "Could you keep in down back there with the talk and the clanking bottles, It's really loud." (your booking agent's fault, Hope. Not the fans.)

    It was a deserved reprimand, but considering she didn't say anything else all night, came off as somewhat arrogant. There was a brief, awkward moment of silence in the club as the fans realized she was genuinely pissed off. A bit of supportive cheer followed, but, as always, ignored by Hope.

    It seemed like an hour hadn't even been reached when Hope suddenly darted stage right, followed by the band. Not a word was spoken. Heads were down, not even graceful enough to look at her own fans. The dim purple lighting that had shrouded them for the entire set remained on, as did the taped musical interludes (which proceeded a few songs), giving the impression that more was to come.

    Although a few dozen people exited the club the moment the band left the stage, a throng of fans remained up front, cheering and encouraging Hope and company to return. This is where I felt that Hope really lacked any professionalism or tact: she left these fans to applaud in her honour - let it draw out for over five minutes - before the stage crew appeared along with the house lights.

    The remaining fans were disappointed. I hung around to listen in on them. There was a real sense of disbelief at being slighted this way. Two men let out single boos, but mostly there were friends analyzing the situation. How short was that? What was that all about? Hope Sandoval was not thought well of at this point in the evening. Whatever it was about, it should have been handled better than it was. What a shame.

  • Priscilla: I've never been to a Mazzy Star concert as I'm a relatively new fan but a nonetheless ardent one. I arrived at the venue - Lee's Palace quite early before the show. I was sitting inside the adjacent coffee shop when I spotted Hope talking outside the tour bus with members of the Warm Inventions. She had no make-up; just jeans and sneakers. And she seemed so free and somewhat happy. By the time I tried to go outside she and her band members hopped into a taxi and that was it.

    Anyhow, as I entered Lee's I made sure to get a seat close to the stage and sure indeed I got a seat stage right in front of the speakers( Couldn't get any closer than that). The opening act, Soledad Brothers seemed competent through out their entire set. Some people described their sound as 'garage rock' but I think they have a more bluesy sound. They were energetic, vibrant and completely connected to each other. I have to especially compliment the drummer, I don't know how the hell he had so much energy and staying power; he simply pounded away on the drums. The sax was also a nice touch. I enjoyed the set but towards the end I grew more and more impatient to see and hear Hope.

    It seemed like an eternity before she finally appeared to thundering applause. By that time the place was crowded!! I was surprised at the big turn-out. The stage was dimly lit with red and blue lights and even though I was the closest one to the stage, I could barely make out Hope's facial features. The first song played was 'Lose me on the way' but you could never tell because the sound was horrible. Hope's vocals were drowned out with all the distorted guitars. She was clearly upset and told the sound technician to turn up the volume on her mic. This proved to be only a temporary setback as the sound improved significantly by the time one of my favs.' On the Low' started. Hope's harmonica was never heard though, they seemed to neglect that problem.

    Anyway, Hope's voice was even more beautiful than I imagined. It was breath-taking and true to how she sounded on her album. I only took one picture as I didn't want to distract her too much. The guitar playing was superb on 'Butterfly Mornings' and 'Around my Smile', the latter being the highlight for me- it was hallucinogenic and disillusionary at the same time. I managed to get into it for only short periods because 1. Members of the crowd were taking pictures using flash, Hope became perturbed by this. 2. One member of the crowd shouted' Play some Mazzy tracks!' To which she responded' This IS the wrong side of the tracks, I'm sorry to say'. I felt that loud comment was inappropriate sure I longed to maybe hear 'Look on down from the Bridge' but I realized that Hope wanted people to know more about the music she wrote on her own and it would not be the same without David Roback. 3.Hope was affected by the bar noise at the back near the entrance as she said' Would it be possible to lower the clanging of the bottles? It is really loud'. I fully supported her on this as the noise seemed disrespectful to her performance. Some might say she was acting snobby, but I disagree. Imagine yourself playing with all that noise.

    So Hope seemed to be getting more and more upset and I could not fully enjoy the show, I felt anxious that she might decide to leave with all the comments like 'Hope, you're an angel' or 'Crybaby!' The last song she played was 'Suzanne' fulfilling the request of an audience member who shouted for her to play it earlier( disrespectful). It was heart-breaking and wonderful. Heartbreaking because despite the efforts of the fans to clap and try and get an encore, she quickly left the stage and never came back. I did see her band members nearby, waiting as if they would return. But alas, I felt a bit let down. Because I never got Hope at her fullest in terms of the songs- she skipped 'Drop' although she did perform a few new ones.

    I grabbed a setlist and on the advice of her band member hurriedly went outside to see if I could catch her getting on her bus. But after hours of waiting( until 2 a.m.), I was told along with a few other people that she would not be signing any autographs. Her spokesperson said that she was upset about the show; not at the fans but something else. He didn't know. Even though I needed more, I was grateful that I had at least briefly heard the magic. Even though, Hope might have come off as aloof or non-responsive, I keep that image of her before the show- warm and approachable. I think that's how she really is. It's just that the venue was ill-suited with its limited space and poor sound. I hope she returns with a better venue that would allow a sit-down event.