J.D. Originals Presents Young Rival at The Rivoli

Date of show: April 17, 2013
Written by: Chiara DiAngelo

The latest instalment of the J.D. Originals Presents concert series featured Hamilton three-piece Young Rival. Comprised of Aron D’Alesio (guitar, vocals), John Smith (bass) and Noah Fralick (drums), the band released their sophomore album Stay Young last October and that was the last time I had the chance to catch them live. A band that I always look forward to seeing, D’Alesio’s hazy distorted vocals translate really well live and their blend of classic 60’s and 70’s pop melded with raw garage rock makes you want to dance.

They delved right in with the gritty cowboy stomping “Better Things.” The aptly named “T-Shirt and Shorts” from their self-titled debut album sounded like summer vacation, though it was the introductory trippy guitar work into “The Ocean” that really riled up the desperate-for-warm-weather audience. Their set also included the sunshine poppy “Two Reasons” and dizzying, almost psychedelic sounding “Black Is Good.”

Where the band has really grown over the years is in honing the chemistry and interaction between D’Alesio and Smith on stage, with their live show now featuring some pretty impressive coordinated dance moves between the two of them. Oh and D’Alesio ended their set by playing his guitar with a beer bottle on “Let It Go” – it doesn’t really get much more entertaining than that! Coming back out for an encore, the band covered The Ramones’ surf punk hit “Rockaway Beach.” Still feeling like the night was ending too earlier, the crowd demanded a second encore but unfortunately their wish wasn’t granted.

Young Rival are across the ocean to touring the UK and Europe in May. We’ll be here, eagerly awaiting their return!


Taking a last minute gig opportunity, Toledo opened the night. Fronted by Cam Malcolm (Huron, Cam Malcolm and the Owls), the four-piece possessed a really fun classic rock feel. Catchy and vibrant, their funky vibe was a great preview to the headliner. Malcolm’s vocals shone on tracks like “The Garden of Eden” as well as the band’s cover of Thrush Hermit’s “North Dakota” that would have made even Plaskett proud. After sending a song about growing up in Hamilton out to the boys of Young Rival, they ended their set with “Jasper Johns.” The standout of their set, I immediately had to look this one up and listen to it again the moment I got home.

You can check out their EP Years Without Focus on Bandcamp – if you are missing Huron as much as I am, I would highly recommend you check out Toledo in the interim!

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Categories: Live Music


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