American emo band Mineral played their first Toronto show at Lee's Palace. I wasn't too familiar with the band going in, but I was impressed with their sound, dynamics and intensity. It was cool to see so many people singing along to every word and rocking out hard in front of the stage.
Personal favourites Tancred opened up the show. Check out my photos and thoughts on their set here.
Tancred have quickly become one of my favourite bands and I won't miss a chance to see them live. Their fresh take on 90s alt rock sounds is just perfect. This was my second time seeing them, and I probably enjoyed their tunes more this time since I was more familiar with them. Check out my photos of their show at The Horseshoe opening for The Joy Formidable.
Live, they've got a great energy in their delivery, fantastic fuzzy guitar sounds and singer/songwriter Jess Abbott's oh-so-likeable delivery. Jess told us that this show marked their guitarist's first time in Canada. Welcome! They mentioned a couple of times that everyone is so nice. Funny, yet accurate.
Here's their setlist as I captured it:
"Queen of New York"
Tancred was here opening for Mineral. My photos of their set are here.
And please give their music some time with your ears.
I was but a wee wee lad when landmark Cheap Trick albums like In Color, Heaven Tonight, Cheap Trick at Budokan and Dream Police came out. That didn’t stop them from having a tremendous impact on the foundations of my musical taste. Their power pop tunes taught me that you can be heavy and poppy with crunchy guitars pounding drums and catchy hooks all at the same time. It was a sound that I took as an influence along with bands like KISS and Hüsker Dü when I started writing my own music.
This show at Fallsview Casino marked my first time seeing the band live. It was great to see the band on stage with almost all the original members (guitarist Rick Nielsen's son Daxx held down the drums in Bun E. Carlos' absence) and to hear several classic tunes live. I was left with one question - Why the covers? I know that the band made several of these covers their own and made them Cheap Trick hits, but in my little mind, Cheap Trick is a band with way more than a set worth of perfect original tunes. Personally, I would have liked to hear a fistful more of them instead of the covers.
Here's the setlist from this show:
"On Top of the World"
"Need Your Love"
"Magical Mystery Tour"
"Ain't That A Shame"
"Don't Be Cruel"
"Baby Loves to Rock"
"Waitin' for the Man"
"I Want You to Want Me"
"Never Had A Lot to Lose"
Here are the biggest hits that I loved hearing live:
You may have noticed a resurgence in posts covering The Pursuit of Happiness' live shows over the past couple of years. I chalk this trend up to two things. First, the band is playing live again after several years off, doing cool things like releasing a deluxe version of their full-length debut Love Junk. Second, I absolutely love the band's music. I've seen them so many times in the old days and I'm loving revisiting their tunes and their energetic live shows now.
This most recent show was a packed show at The Danforth Music Hall with fellow Canadian power pop legends Odds opening the show. Don't miss my shots of their set here.
TPOH ran through the entirety of Love Junk, in order, only saving "I'm An Adult Now" for the set closer. As always, the tunes sounded great, the band played excellently and we all sang along loudly. Guitarist Kris Abbott suffered a hand injury during the show but bandaged up and powered through.
We got a couple of deep cuts from the Love Junk deluxe set, and a few tunes from the rest of the TPOH catalog. For the encore, they brought out Odds and Stephen Page of Barenaked Ladies fame for a rendition of Prince's "When Doves Cry".
"Hard To Laugh"
"She's So Young"
"Consciousness Raising As A Social Tool"
"Walking in the Woods"
"When the Sky Comes Falling Down"
"Looking for Girls"
"Man's Best Friend"
"Tree of Knowledge"
"Killed by Love"
"Down on Him"
"Let My People Go"
"Two Girls in One"
"I Like You"
"I'm and Adult Now"
Prince's "When Doves Cry" with Odds and Stephen Page
Here are some of my favourites from their setlist:
Vancouver BC alternative rock / power pop band Odds wrote tons of powerful, catchy tunes that I’ve loved for decades. I just can’t remember ever seeing them live before.
Whether it was seeing them again or seeing them for the first time, their show at Toronto's Danforth Music Hall opening for The Pursuit of Happiness (check out my photos of their set here) was full of amazing tunes and great energy.
Stephen Page of Barenaked Ladies joined the band for "Ruby" and they snuck in a bit of BNL's "It's All Been Done". Stephen came out again at the end of the set along with Tom Wilson of Junkhouse and Lee Harvey Osmond for a great rendition of "Someone Who's Cool".
The band's setlist was crammed with great tunes as you can see here.
My last show of 2018 was in some ways the strangest, or at least the most unique, while being greatly enjoyable.
It was an all ages matinee show ahead of Hollerado's New Year's Eve show at Lee's Palace. But it wasn't like the other all ages shows I'd been to previously. It was full of kids. Like, little kids. Like, grade 1 and younger kids running around the Lee's Palace dance floor and lying on it (yuck) and sitting cross-legged to watch the opening variety acts.
We saw the songs, costumes and choreography of The Vinyl Vixens, Story Time with Anne and Annie, legendary kids performer Fred Penner and Finger Tricks Vivian, all hosted by CBC's Steve Patterson.
Once Hollerado hit the stage and the floor filled up with more adult sized people to rock out to the band, it all became much more normal for me. But that's not to say that the variety acts weren't fun or entertaining. They were.
But I was there for Hollerado. Their powerful and fun delivery of catchy and energetic power pop tunes is always just what I need. They put on a short but hits-filled set and sent us on our way. It was a fun afternoon.
And since this show, the band has announced that they're moving on to other things. Their next album Retaliation Vacation will come out June 7 and it will be their last. They're heading out on tour to put on their last shows, including the absolute last shows at Toronto's Danforth Music Hall on December 12-13. See you there!
"I Got You"
"Good Day At The Races"
"Pick Me Up"
"On My Own"
"So It Goes"
"One Last Time", including filming of parts of the video
"Keep On Rocking in the Fee World" Neil Young cover
I've seen Hollerado a couple of times before and you can see that coverage by clicking on the links here and here. They're for the band's shows at Hillside and Riverfest Elora.
Here are some of my favourite Hollerado tunes.
"I Got You"
"Good Day at the Races"
"So It Goes"
"One Last Time" the video filmed in part at this very show