Date of show: November 17, 2012
Written by: Chiara DiAngelo
PEI’s Tim Chaisson recently released his second album The Other Side and is currently touring across the country with Poor Young Things in support of it. Chaisson’s live shows are such a treat. While his album was on the lower key folk side, his live show takes on a completely different level of energy once he is backed by a full band, which includes his cousin Koady Chaisson on bass and Jeff Heisholt on keys. The songs were larger than life, with much more of a rock feel. Chaisson’s signature drawl and the twinkle in his eyes while playing ensured that the emotion and the feeling in the songs was not lost amongst the guitar riffs however.
Starting with songs like “Bail You Out” and “Beat This Heart,” it was obvious that he had also chosen more of his upbeat songs rather than ballads for the setlist to help get the crowd into it. It wasn’t until “Blast Your Way Out” halfway through his set that he slowed the pace down at all. While “The Other Side” featured some fine mandolin, this was countered with some pretty powerful kick drum to even things out. Even the heartfelt “Come Clean” all of a sudden transformed into a full-out rock song. As an added bonus, Chaisson also broke out the fiddle for a couple of tracks (which we were hoping for at his last show), though even these managed to be more thunderous than folky – definitely not what you would expect! If you haven’t had a chance to experience the East Coast charm of Chaisson for yourself yet, you should change that the next time he comes through!
Hometown rockers (via Thunder Bay) and Chaisson’s tourmates, Poor Young Things closed out the night. They kicked off set opener “The Low Road” with the first few lines of “Dancing In The Dark.” The appropriateness of this intro soon became apparent as they launched into a set filled with new songs, many of which employed Springsteen-like anthemic hooks. Some of these songs were very new to their setlist, having only been played once or twice before, and showed a need to be developed further live, but there was definite potential for some, like “Black Lightning” and “Transformer,” to quickly become stuck-in-your-head singles.
The crowd obviously responded the greatest to those songs that have already become well loved, such as “Let It Sleep” and “Blame It On The Good Times,” during which guitarist Dave Grant jumped down off stage. Few people even noticed when he broke a string during “Hearts and Minds.” Jeff Heisholt of The Trews came out to add keys to “Fire” and set-closer “Reckless Young,” which has quickly become a bit of a sing-along anthem. These road warriors have been on the road for much of the past year and it was obvious from the crowd’s response they were happy to have them home.
As a special encore the band brought out Chaisson to join in on The Traveling Wilburys’ “Handle With Care.” As has become tradition at their Horseshoe shows, the night finally ended with a cover of “Rockin’ In Free World.” All of the bands and almost half the venue ended up there, playing whatever instruments were lying around – including the cow bell! There was a definite rowdy hometown feel to it. As an added bonus, Mike Kondakow (guitar) brought out a paper maché guitar that he “strummed” for a few chords before breaking it open and throwing candy out to the crowd. While it was already a few weeks past Halloween, who complains about getting candy at 2am? It was a fun way to end a great night!
Getting to the Horseshoe just as opener Elvyn were finishing up, The Canadian Shield was the first band we saw. This Toronto-via-Thunder Bay rock duo answers the question: Just how dynamic can a two-person band be? with a resounding “more dynamic than many larger groups!” There is a massive amount of chemistry between guitarist/lead vocalist Doug Gorrie and drummer Mike Bone, especially when jamming out instrumentally together. This is how their set began, building in energy before getting into “Bones On The Ground.”
Gorrie had the majority of the stage to himself and made good use of it, constantly on the move. His guitar was actually accidently switched off during “HMS Erebus” because he was moving around so much, but this was quickly fixed before they launched into “Wings.” Their set also included “Songs For the Dead in Love,” the title track of their EP that funnily enough didn’t actually make it onto the EP. To end things off, they invited “anyone who knows the words” up on stage for “66 Spadina.” A small group of friends made it up for the turning point in the song, when it bursts into climactic gang vocal “oh-oh’s” that could only have been better had their buddies in Wildlife been there to join in.
Playing to a room full of people, the majority of whom had never heard them before, they left the stage to a buzz of “Who was that? They were so good!” We would highly recommend you check out their EP on their Bandcamp and then go see them live – you won’t be disappointed.