Energetic Indie Rock explodes at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern
Mad Ones, a band from Hamilton made up of two members, Phil Wilson (drums) and Andrew DeVillers (guitar) were the perfect opener for The Energetic Indie Rock Showcase at The Horseshoe Tavern. Because it was just the two of them, DeViller seemed to be using a few different pedal effects to fill their sound. He was also able to execute smooth transitions between distorted choruses and cleanly picked verse licks. The combination of this and Wilson’s off-beat drum fills were more than enough to hook the crowd. Their songs were catchy, gritty and refreshing. Beautifully rock sounding with a palpable tone and beat.
Freedom Or Death was a whole other story. They’re definitely one of those acts that’s good for what they are, just not what I’m into. I appreciate their approach at being off the cuff and their strong attempt at mixing genres, but their songs lacked variety. Staying committed to a dreamy rock sound can only allow so much room to roam. These guys mesmerized everyone in the audience though! At one point they asked the audience to take 3 steps closer to the stage and they obliged! It was eerie. Then, all of a sudden, around the second last song or so, they play something upbeat, filled with melodic hooks and seemed more natural to what they all were to musicians. Where the hell did that come from? Why must you toy with my musical emotions? Do I love you? Hate you? Maybe re-consider the synth and we’ll talk.
Teenage Kicks were on next and demonstrated just what stage presence is. I reviewed these guys’ EP, Rational Anthems, a few months back. And although I wasn’t exactly wowed by the tunes, I was so curious to see what they could deliver in a live performance, and if they could live up to the reputation outlined by the few fans I had met. They definitely did not disappoint. Teenage Kicks has a signature sound, and didn’t drop in tempo for one second – all upbeat, energetic rock. Powerful vocals gave an identity to the band. Their harmonies were so strong, both vocally and instrumentally – it is evident that these guys are connected and in touch with each other on stage. If you haven’t seen them live, you’re missing out.