Toronto ON, February 18 – When I interviewed Ogre and cEvin Key for the June/July 2013 Issue, it was clear to me they were very excited about touring and coming home to Canada for a few shows in the not so distant future. The enthusiasm expressed in the interview culminated into a perfect show for Skinny Puppy when they took to the stage, in force with full frontal stagecraft at Toronto’s Sound Academy on their Live Shapes for Arms tour.
It seemed to be the industrial social event of the year as Sound Academy packed with fans from far and wide on a Tuesday “school” night. But as the industrial titans graced the stage with larger than life video artistry and fitting macabre costume changes, the stage became a living organism of everything we love about Skinny Puppy.
Ogre’s theatrics were a thrill, but for me the real pleasure was in the crystal clear Sound Academy system that layered the music beautifully and played on cEvin’s master craft at the keyboard. There were even some interesting shades of his skill with elements of Download and even little bits of influence from his recent but brilliant Dubcon project in the interplay between set list selections that drew from a balanced Skinny Puppy repertoire, both old and new.
Skinny Puppy is one of those bands that rarely breaks character. However, for the latter half of the Toronto show Ogre dropped the masks, costumes, and theatrics, coming out as just Ogre, the man, to engage with the audience in sincere and appreciative showmanship. When I talked to Ogre in the summer it was clear to me that he has a deep and spiritual appreciation for the support of Skinny Puppy over the years, and he showed this by touching the audience with a brilliant and rare personal performance, sans the blood and doom.
Both men, cEvin and Ogre, now into their fifties and exceedingly good looking as they age, brought a youthful energy and emotive performance. Reliable sources who had also attended the Montreal show days before reported similar observations and the only downside is the show was it had to end, leaving us wanting more Skinny Puppy, of yore and the future!