Thursday, March 10, 2011
Charlotte Cornfield – 8:30PM @ Sneaky Dee’s
Brett Caswell & The Marquee Rose – 9:30PM @ Sneaky Dee’s
Grounders – 9:00PM @ Silver Dollar
Grounders were off to a slow start, as they had problems and needed a cable, but it was nice to see the guys get some help from some fellow musicians. Fronted by Andrew Davis (vocals, guitar), this 4-piece from Toronto is comprised of Dan Busheikin (guitar, keys), Michal Searle (bass) and Rob Canali (drums). Davis’ unique vocals really define their smile-inducing dream pop sound. Unfortunately, the sound problems continued, as Busheikin spent most of the time on his knees because apparently that helped. As a result of their difficulties, they didn’t really interact with the audience. In fact, someone even said, “No time for banter!” However, they did their best and managed to make the most of the set. By the end, there were quite a few up front dancing along and they ended off their set on a high note with some even singing along.
Heartbeat Hotel – 10:00PM @ Silver Dollar
Heartbeat Hotel is 4-piece based out of Toronto that melds an ambient/dream pop sound with a shoegaze vibe. The band is made up of Chris Lyons (vocals, guitar), Matt Mitchell (bass, keys, vocals), Dave Connolly (guitar) and Andy Smith (drums). I really wish I could’ve made out more of the vocals because, honestly, Heartbeat Hotel is worth your attention. They’re dynamic and their ambience has a way of drawing the audience in. When watching Heartbeat Hotel, it’s about feeling the music, really letting the music guide you. This band ended up being a great find! Oh and their music is available on a PWYC basis here!
The Darcys – 11:00PM @ Silver Dollar
Certainly one of the highlights of the Thursday night showcases, The Darcys, unsurprisingly, packed the place. The Darcys’ textured indie rock is full of intricate details and is always delivered with the utmost precision but never at the sacrifice of passion. Jason Couse (vocals, guitar, Rhodes) draws from within an intensity that really commands the stage, as he sings and plays with such fervour, making an ideal frontman. Guitarist Mike le Riche backs up Couse on vocals, but his talent is guitar is unquestionable and can certainly be an attention-stealer away from Couse. Dave Hurlow (bass) and Wes Marskell (drums) both make their skills seem effortless, but their complicated drum patterns and booming bass lines prove otherwise. For The Darcys, it seems like every show is about proving themselves. It hardly seems necessary though, as they’re clearly a band to pay attention to, but what this means is that you can always expect The Darcys to give you 110%. And, well, what more can you ask for?
Oh and they’ll be releasing a new album this spring/summer. Get ready!
Teenage Kicks – 12:30AM @ Sneaky Dee’s
Teenage Kicks is a Toronto-based 4-piece that plays straight up rock n’ roll. The band is comprised of Peter van Helvoort (vocals, guitar), Jeff van Helvoort (bass, vocals), Patrick Marchent (guitar) and Cameron Brunt (drums). They opened up with “I Get What You Give,” a song off of their Shook Our Bones 7” that really embraces the arena rock sound they are capable of. Peter’s relaxed vibe is so unassuming, yet there is such power behind his voice. Teenage Kicks mentioned that they had to work in a few hours, yet they still played with such energy. In fact, they seemed to embrace the situation and wanted to make the most of it. And honestly, that says a lot about the band and their work ethic – to both work and the band. On their horizon is an EP release, as well as a whole slew of videos to accompany the new tunes. Be on the lookout because there’s a lot of awesome ahead.
Hands & Teeth – 2:30AM @ Sneaky Dee’s
Hands & Teeth is a Toronto-based 5-piece made up of Natasha Pasternak (vocals, guitar, keys), Kevin Black (vocals, guitar), Jeff Pinto (vocals, keys, guitar), Derek Monson (vocals, bass) and Adam Kolubinski (drums). With time, this band just continues to grow. They sound bigger and bolder than I remember and they are such great performers, really knowing how to work a crowd. But their specialty lies in their 4-piece harmonies, as they’re really able to create a layered sound that has the ability to stun. It’s a shame they had such a late set time, but this band makes a point of playing shows frequently, so there will be plenty of opportunities to appreciate their exuberant pop.