CMW Review: The Barberettes are a fun way to time travel

If you had told me five years ago that one of the bands that I would have seen live the most often was a do-wop female trio, I’d be surprised. But it’s nonetheless true and each time I’ve seen The Barberettes perform, they’ve entertained and put on a great show with beautiful outfits and voices that blend and compliment each other wonderfully. They are a band that I definitely recommend you check out if you ever have the chance. Luckily, they seem to like coming to Toronto – I’ve seen them five times here over the course of the past three years – with the most recent time being a performance at this year’s Canadian Music Week (CMW).

The Barberettes at CMW 2017

The Barberettes at CMW

When The Barberettes came on stage Sunny thanked the crowd for coming out after the hockey game which was a nice touch and something I’m sure made an impression on the hockey lovers in the audience, be they Leafs fans or not. I know that I noted it. It’s always nice when a band that’s not local connects with the audience by mentioning something that’s important to that location and that comment was the perfect icebreaker for a Toronto audience.

Another thing that stuck with me from the show was how Shinae’s injury (her left foot was wrapped) didn’t affect their enthusiasm and joy in performing. Every time I’ve seen The Barberettes perform, I’ve always left happy and this time was no different. There is just something about their music and performance style that raises your spirits and makes you happy – it’s like they’re sharing their joy in their music with you. Which makes their shows fun and something to look forward to.

It’s always interesting to see how others react to their music and this time was no different. Lee’s Palace – a place they performed at before in 2015 – is a great place to see live music and the set up of the venue encourages dancing as there is a dance floor in front of the stage. And it wasn’t long before many in the audience had moved forward and starting dancing.

As I mentioned before, The Barberettes are also known for their beautiful period-inspired outfits and they had lovely champagne coloured dresses with lace. It’s always neat seeing their outfits.

Sadly, their appearance at CMW was announced fairly last minute – about a week from the start of the festival – which didn’t leave a lot of time to promote their show. Which led to a smaller, although no less enthusiastic audience, than they normally have in Toronto as I know from speaking to some friends that they didn’t hear about the show until too late.

The Barberettes at CMW 2017

Final Thoughts

It was a lovely show that was over all too quick. I definitely recommend catching The Barberettes live if you have the chance as they never disappoint and will put a smile on your face. They just project such joy in their music and performance that it’s always a treat to catch their shows. My only regret was they were the only Korean band at CMW this year and their appearance was announced so late, many fans didn’t hear about the show (and therefore, couldn’t attend).

Just the facts: social media edition

Don’t forget to check out The Barberettes on social media to stay up-to-date on their music and shows. You can find them on the following sites:

You can also hear Shinae talk about The Barberettes and the indie music scene in Korea on our Korean Indie Music 101 panel, recorded at Toronto Kpop Con last month. It’s definitely worth checking out!

Editor’s note: Sorry for the photos. 

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

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