Toronto's fashion and entertainment crowd crammed into the steamy Red Bull Space on Queen W, transformed for the night into a House of Helder Hedquarters plastered with images of the band from their monthly online magazine MODA CINQUE and featuring decked out dancers posing like mannequins in an art installation.
For the performance segment, a metal garage door was raised revealing Nelly Furtado who briefly but enthusiastically introduced the band before they segued into a set of remixed/tweaked versions of their "greatest hits" (songs they have been playing for years but yet still sound fresh and current). It was also fun to hear them throw in verses from songs that clearly show their influences (Madonna's "vouge," T.Rex's "20th century boy" and Grace Jones' "nightclubbing").
Descending a spiral staircase looking like a hot, S&M, Tranny Court Jester from the future sporting a Cher weave (circa 1965) that was treated with too much Rogaine, Fritz was in fine form- as glamorous and gracious as always. Though the band graduated from their days as Discount Divas a long time ago (they were outfitted by Greta Constantine for the show and are now backed by handlers and connections with the Canadian fashion elite), they remain grounded and humble. Unlike Lady Gaga who is praised for her unique, individual style and music but to me, feels forced and manufactured, Fritz Helder and the Phantoms are the real deal. I couldn't be more happy for them and look forward to watching their well deserved rise to stardom.
Check them out at: http://www.myspace.com/fritzhelderandthephantoms or in the new issue of Out Magazine.
I'll be posting pics from the night soon but here are a few older shots I have taken of the band.