Soybomb vs Lee's
First of all I'd like to thank Todd Pinnell and the Rivoli for letting us host our Toronto shows there every year. Since Todd left the Rivoli a couple years ago however, it's been a massive headache arguing with the Rivoli over letting people into the venue for fear of exceeding the legal capacity. Every show at the Rivoli since 2011 has sold out (6 in a row!) but the number of people who were let in has varied from 140-260 depending on how anal management was on a given night.
Last year was the low of 140 where we were technically sold out but 20 people who bought tickets never showed. Unfortunately we had to turn over 30 people away INCLUDING THE FAMILY OF DAIJIRO NAKAGAWA(Uchu Conbini) WHO FLEW IN ALL THE WAY FROM JAPAN because there was always a chance that the no-shows might arrive later. (note: The Rivoli has a legal capacity of 190 but we had 30 musicians/staff that counted against the cap so the number of customers we were allowed to let in was only 160. Even though in 2011 we had 260 not including the musicians/staff so close to 290!!)
So last year sucked because the room looked half empty despite being "sold out." Thankfully attendance the following night at Lee's Palace was insane (620 !!) and more than made up for the Rivoli.
This year we're moving away from Stalag Thirtee.. I mean the Rivoli and kicking the tour off at Soybomb!
Many of you have probably never heard of Soybomb. Well I don't blame you because it's not your typical licenced music venue. It's basically the apartment loft of four skateboarding vegans who decide to host shows on the occasional Friday or Saturday. Inside the loft is a mini-halfpipe and the bands perform on the base of this skateboard ramp.
Soybomb is located above a bicycle store (Cyclemotive) and there are bicycles hanging from the ceiling arbitrarily in certain areas.
The drawback of having the bands play at floor level is unless you're right up front you can't see shit. The great part of having the bands play at floor level is you feel an immediate connection with the band with an absence of hierarchy so the energy of the band channels directly through the audience and resonates throughout the room with a singular, unified, ebullient vibe.
And to maximize capability of getting a direct view of the band, the audience can encircle the band and sit/stand on the ends of the halfpipe.
The nice thing about Soybomb is we can let as many people in as we want. There have been shows/parties at Soybomb with about 400 people. But realistically only about 200 maaaaaybe 250 can fit in the performance space and the rooftop can hold about 40 peeps but there's no view of the bands. So there are a lot of people going in and out.
The June 12 show at Soybomb HQ will have an unbeatable atmosphere and may end up the craziest and most fun NMFT show to date.
BUT if you actually want to see the band and enjoy the music with more fidelity, you're better off watching the show at Lee's Palace.
Lee's Palace is a large venue that holds roughly 600 people so it's nowhere near as intimate as Soybomb where you can be eye to eye and right next to the band. But having said that last year's show at Lee's Palace was mind-blowing fun with a great crowd atmosphere.
Lots of stagediving and crowdsurfing and a great view of the band from anywhere in the room due to the stage being 5 feet high!
Verdict: If you want to feel the music by braille while enjoying an adrenaline rush of a party go to Soybomb! If you actually want to see the bands performing and hear the bands sounding their best then make a beeline to Lee's! Or better yet, "Why not both?"
Note: advance tickets to the Soybomb show are halfway sold-out so get them quick!!