In my 7.5 years of living in Toronto, I’ve seen my share of local bands break up, but last night was the first time I saw one pack the Horseshoe Tavern for their farewell gig. The venue couldn’t have been more fitting, as it was there that my relationship with Quest For Fire began four years ago–and almost to the day, at that…
Mind you, I didn’t actually see their performance opening for Witch and Earthless on February 20, 2008. There was another gig down the street (Zoroaster and Amenra–I actually walked out on the latter), and I showed up just in time for Earthless, who blew the headliner off the stage. But from what I heard, QFF also outperformed the J Mascis project, so I went and bought their self-titled debut, then available on the Storyboard label. Of course, legend has it said Horseshoe gig led to the band signing with Tee Pee, who would reissue the s/t record later that year.
I’ve kinda lost track of the times I’ve seen QFF since then; a couple gigs with Blood Ceremony at The Garrison here, one memorable show with four bands playing at once there… but I’m sure I’d need at least two hands to count ’em. However, it had been a while since I’d last heard from the heavy-psych outfit–until they announced they’d be playing their last-ever gig.
And man, they certainly left nothing on the stage last night. A 10-song, 75-minute set spanning the best of both albums (sophomore effort Lights From Paradise was released on Tee Pee in 2010), with things seeming trippier than ususal–guitars more distorted, drums more pounding, instrumental passages seemingly extended within songs… The always-headtrippin’ “Next to the Fire” certainly served as an excellent encore. Had not heard that one in the flesh in a while.
And then it was over, the band leaving the stage at 1:30 in the morning, and the crowd (especially yours truly) leaving a little light-headed. RIP QFF, we hardly knew thee!
(By the way, I recently reviewed the band’s previously-recorded output over here.)
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