SATURDAY — The biggest buzz at this year's Canadian Music Week was all about Operators. The new project from Dan Boeckner — of Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs and Divine Fits and everything else cool in the last ten years — spent three straight nights under the lights of The Silver Dollar. No one in Canada had ever heard the band before; not even the briefest of teasers was released in the lead up to the festival, never mind an entire single. As Boeckner put it, "I wanted the first time anyone heard these songs to be in a fucking club." And after the band's Canadian debut on Thursday night, word spread quickly: Operators were living up to the hype. Their first set landed a five-N review from NOW Magazine.So, by the time of the final show at midnight on Saturday, the room at The Dollar was packed from wall to wall with an eager crowd. What they heard was a series of loud, dance-friendly, electric tunes that mashed all of Boeckner's previous projects together and threw them in the blender — "a combination of everything I've done since I started playing music professionally," he'd already hinted. Spewing energy, sweat and obvious zeal for his new band, Boeckner commanded the small stage as if he was playing the ACC. And though it wasn't anything terribly unexpected, the crowd welcomed it all with open ears, dancing and bouncing and bobbing along to the brand new tracks (one overly-excited member of the audience even started his own solo mosh pit). The climax was perfectly timed, too. Japandroids joined Operators on stage for the last song of the night: a cover of Wolf Parade's "Shine A Light."
Operators have arrived. And they've done it in style.
Words by Cody McGraw (Managing Editor of The Little Red Umbrella) and Adam Bunch (Editor-in-Chief of the Little Red Umbrella and the creator of the Toronto Dreams Project).