Current Swell Bring Their Roots-Rock To The Horseshoe

Current Swell @ Horseshoe Tavern, 15-11-12

Date of show: November 15, 2012
Written by: Chiara DiAngelo


With quite a crowd gathered up front, the venue was hollering and chanting for B.C.’s Current Swell before they even took the stage. Scott Stanton (guitar, vocals) entered first, strumming the guitar alone as the rest of the band soon followed. The cheers only got louder as they launched into opener “Honest Lie.” Playing a blend of reggae-influenced roots-rock with some blues & soul mixed in, their high energy performance still embodies that laidback B.C. mentality that just puts you at ease. And judging from the response of the crowd, it really has an effect on people.

By the third song in, the distinct hazy cloud and pungent odour of marijuana that has now come to be expected at their shows was hanging low over our heads. Slowing things down just a little, Stanton and guitarist Davers Lang performed a bit of a duet on “For the Land,” re-enacting the struggle between a man and the father of a lover, between love and faith. Stanton’s guitar string may have broken part way through, but Lang prolonged the song’s progression so he could be ready in time for his guitar solo. Picking the pace back up again, the crowd nearly burst at the seams during favourites such as “I Want a Bird,” “Booze in Hell” and “Young and Able.” Another highlight of the set was the addition of Stanton on slide guitar for a couple of tracks. Before the band closed out their set with “Coming Home,” Lang took the time to high-five and shake hands with those up front who had been shouting their love for him all night.

Returning for an encore, the band requested quiet for the heart-wrenching “Brad’s Song.” At first there were some individuals who still wanted to whoop and holler, but they were soon shushed out of respect for the tears in Lang’s eyes as he divulged some of the backstory behind the song and their friend Brad. Lighters were lit, bodies were swayed, and all the voices swelled, joining in as the song built towards the end. An emotional and powerful moment, it felt like we were all a part of something therapeutic and truly bigger than just merely a song. How often can you say that about a rock show?

Breaking the spell, they rewarded the crowd by ending with the rowdy “How Could They Trust Us Now.” In the midst of the motions, all of their hats flew from their heads and cell phones fell out of pockets before they finally took a well-deserved bow. Bassist Ghosty Boy called the night their best show ever in Toronto, and I’m pretty sure most everyone in attendance would agree!

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Categories: Live Music

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