Date of show: October 23, 2010
The crowd at the Horseshoe Tavern was WILD for Gentlemen Husbands on the eve of their Mirror Doll Business EP release show! I’m talking jumping, moshing, beer everywhere, broken glass, elbows, and lots of rocking out. It was scary… and amazing. Cobourg-based alt-country/Americana rockers Gentlemen Husbands is made up of Rick Ballard (vocals, guitar), Ryan Hutcheson (guitar), Dan Farrell (drums, vocals), and Jed Atkinson (bass). This 4-piece is extraordinary and I was so glad to have been up close to check out the talent on that stage. There is something incredibly refreshing about Ballard’s vocals and his unassuming stage presence. Hutcheson’s skillful guitar playing is worth noting, as he passionately sang along despite not being one of the vocalists. Atkinson brings rich bass lines and Farrell’s drive the Americana tunes, so much so that it wasn’t long before he had to take his shirt off.
They opened up their set with “Family Economics” and immediately the crowd was wild. Highlights of their set include the EP’s title track “Mirror Doll Business,” described by Atkinson as a “hipshaker” and “American Girl,” which brought friends and fans to sing along on stage. Their tunes are passionate, driven, catchy and their whole essence is what a rock show is all about. They ended their 12-song set with “Woodwork” and shortly after came back for an amazing encore covering “Jailhouse Rock” to a riled up crowd crazy about Gentlemen Husbands. It was a great set and a great night all around.
Check out their Mirror Doll Business EP. It’s definitely worth listening to. And then check them out live. I assure you that they won’t disappoint. We owe you shots, Gentlemen Husbands. We’ll definitely be back.
Is there a more aptly named band than Monster Truck? By the time this band was on stage, the area in front of the stage was packed and throughout their set there was lots of guys rocking out. Monster Truck is Jon Harvey (vocals, bass), Jeremy Widerman (guitar, vocals), Brandon Bliss (organ, vocals), and Steve Kiely (drums, vocals). Together this Hamilton 4-piece will completely knock you off your feet if you’re not paying attention. Their breed of rock is fast, hard-hitting and bursting with no-holds-barred energy. Harvey has some serious chops on him and his image, with long and out of control hair, is rock and roll personified. Some gear issues emphasized the amount of energy these guys put into their show, as Widerman commented on losing the knobs of his guitar over time and Kiely broke the kit. This didn’t stop them and they played their set all the way until the end, ending on “Space Nebula.” As soon as they finished their set, someone behind me said, “Fuck yeah!” And well, I think he summed up my thoughts pretty well right there.
We were too late to make it to see The North, but we’re glad we caught The Bad Ideas. I will say that by the time we arrived, a crowd was forming up front and it led to fans and friends alike singing loudly along. The Bad Ideas are comprised of Alex R Newman (vocals, guitar), Chance Hutchison (bass, vocals), Joey J (guitar, vocals) and Theo Mckibbon (drums). They played a set full of energy with lots of jumping around and lots of colourful stage banter (no really, it was some of the filthiest and most hilarious stage banter I’ve ever heard). They were rocking hard and I must comment on how in the moment Hutchison was. At times it was as if he was making love to his bass. At the end of their set, there was some booing from the crowd, as it was a rather short set. The Bad Ideas left quite the impression and I’d like to see them again.
The Organ Thieves took the stage after Gentlemen Husbands. Although a lot of the crowd had dispersed, many socializing with the celebrants, there was still a good crowd for The Organ Thieves. This 4-piece is made up of Chuck Coles (vocals, guitar), Dave Baksh aka Dave Brownsound (guitar, vocals), Mike Smith (bass) and were joined by The Bad Ideas’ drummer, Theo Mckibbon. The band has described their sound as experimental soul rock on both their Facebook and MySpace, but their sound definitely hints at reggae and southern rock, amongst the other genres they draw from. I must say that Baksh’s shredding on guitar stands out, but Coles’ vocals have a sound that really reflects their versatile nature. They played a hearty set full of sing-a-longs and guest appearances by members of The Bad Ideas to cheer on their drummer. It was a great way to end the night.