The Junction Celebrates the Release of Grievances at the Horseshoe Tavern

The Junction @ Horseshoe Tavern, 10-03-12

Date of show: March 10, 2012

There is something incredibly special seeing a band that has been around for so long (12 years and counting) play to a packed house at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern. I could hear some in the crowd discuss seeing The Junction years ago as teenagers. One even told me that The Junction was his first taste of indie music and he’s never looked back. It’s almost surprising that Grievances, for which they were celebrating the release of, is only their 3rd full-length album. You could feel the anticipation in the room for the band to play new material live. And boy, did they deliver.

The Junction played Grievances front to back, with Brent Jackson (vocals, guitar) occasionally checking in to make sure everyone was still enjoying themselves. Though 40 minutes of new material can be quite daunting, the energy of the crowd and the band never dwindled. In fact, the guys were evidently enjoying themselves, given away by the constant smiles from Jackson and Matt Jameson (bass, vocals). Even Mike Taylor (drums), who had played a set right before with Goddamn Robots, was full of energy and smiles. The band also had help with the addition of Marcus Wong on guitar and backup vocals.

Grievances is catchy, much like their older material, but there are more experimental undertones with lots of distortion and the use of vocal effects pedals. Amongst their new material, a harder hitting “Awakenings” stood out in particular, with an attention-grabbing drum solo at the end of the song. “Dispositions” had Jackson singing with such passion, which was another highlight of the set. The album and set closer, “Ashes”, mellowed out the crowd (albeit temporarily), which had me wanting to hold a up a lighter, if I actually had one handy.

Of course, fans were also treated to old favourites, bringing friends on stage to join them, including members of opening bands, Goddamn Robots and Trevor James & The Perfect Gentlemen. With friends on stage, some supergroup Battle Mountain Band material was also played, which was likely more to indulge the band rather than the fans. But the fans were no less focused on stage and yelled out the titles of songs they wanted to hear whenever they got the chance.

From their back catalogue, The Junction played “Out of Here”, “My Love Was There”, “Level With Me” (which has one of the most fun videos ever), and “To All The Believers”. The finale, “Components of Four”, resulted in a huge party on stage (cowbell included), with Taylor switching with a friend so he could beat a snare drum front and centre. During the set of old favourites, the party was not just on stage. While fans had been savouring the new material earlier, they let loose during the encore. People pushed their way to the front, sang along and some even crowd surfed. By the end of the sweaty set, it was evident that fans have not lost their passion for the band. The Junction, you still got it. And hey, we definitely owe you shots!

The Junction @ Horseshoe Tavern, 10-03-12 The Junction @ Horseshoe Tavern, 10-03-12 The Junction @ Horseshoe Tavern, 10-03-12 The Junction @ Horseshoe Tavern, 10-03-12 The Junction @ Horseshoe Tavern, 10-03-12 The Junction @ Horseshoe Tavern, 10-03-12 The Junction & Friends @ Horseshoe Tavern, 10-03-12

Goddamn Robots

While I unfortunately missed the first opener, Trevor James & The Perfect Gentlemen, I’m glad I was able to catch Goddamn Robots. This Toronto-based 4-piece is comprised of Nick Harris (vocals, guitar), Jordan Sears (guitar, vocals), Gary Rugala (bass, vocals) and Mike Taylor (drums), all names you may already be familiar with from bands such as The Junction, Seconds to Go and Crash Parallel. That being said, it’s no surprise that the band had quite the draw. When I walked into the Horseshoe, fighting my way to the front, I saw a crowd was gathered at the stage.

With their 90s alternative rock feel, I was immediately struck by Harris’ vocals. The 90s feel is certainly aided by Harris singing about being “stuck in 1998” during “Sunrise”, but the sound comparisons serve as a compliment (I love 90s everything). While that 90s sound permeates most of their songs, they have the ability to play punishing rock as well, like with “Fire”. A highlight of the set was when Brent Jackson from The Junction joined the band for “Away”, which made sense as Jackson appears on the recorded version of the song.

So far the band only has a self-titled EP out, but I hear a full-length is on the way. Judging from what I saw of their already existing fan base, a full-length is eagerly anticipated. The band has certainly gotten my attention and I look forward to hearing more from Goddamn Robots. Give them a listen and I’m sure you’ll feel the same way.

Goddamn Robots @ Horseshoe Tavern, 10-03-12 Goddamn Robots @ Horseshoe Tavern, 10-03-12 Goddamn Robots @ Horseshoe Tavern, 10-03-12 Goddamn Robots @ Horseshoe Tavern, 10-03-12 Goddamn Robots @ Horseshoe Tavern, 10-03-12

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Categories: Live Music


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