Published Sep 14, 2012Toronto's Austra took to the stage to play to a full house at Alix Goolden Hall, the band's phantasmic light display playing off the beautiful architecture of the grandiose organ pipes and vaulted ceilings.
The phenomenal range of singer Katie Stelmanis played right into the haunting melodies provided by twin backup singers, Sari and Romy Lightman, their whimsical onstage presence coupled with ethereal movements producing the effect of three graceful marionettes, front and centre. Stelmanis moved seamlessly between microphone and keyboard, her fingers flitting and body moving effortlessly between the two.
As the closing act, the band invited the crowd to interact with them onstage during their last song, while those in the raised pews looked on. Roughly one hundred people from the pit climbed onstage to form an undulating horseshoe while Austra merged and disappeared within. As the band departed after the final song, a few notes were plunked out by ravenous fans on Stelmanis's unattended keyboard in hopes of an encore. Surprisingly, it worked.