Hopeful Monster at Mitzi's Sister - NOW review

Shows That Rocked Toronto Last Week

Thursday, Feb 5, 2009
Hopeful Monster and My Divine Light at Mitzi's Sister

Oh, the musical talent that lies waiting to be discovered inside small, dark, empty bars. Thursday night at Mitzi’s Sister starred musicians who’ve kicked around for years and whose craft is achingly well hewn because of it. But just a few dozen people came out. My Divine Light is José Contreras’s moniker when his By Divine Right cohorts aren’t around, and though he struggled with a bad cold and poor onstage lighting that prevented him (and his wife, guest musician Lily Frost) from easily reading the piano charts, he saved the set from disaster with charming banter and tender, dreamy acoustic tunes.

Hopeful Monster, Jason Ball’s long-standing chamber pop project, gave a confident performance that showcased Ball’s terrific voice and melodic knack. Best were the sparser tunes in which Contreras, who plays guitar in the band, harmonized while Ball pounded away on Mitzi’s stage piano. A brand-new song called New Start was so good – and appropriately hopeful – it hurt.

Carla Gillis

Originally posted here