Happy Paint Satrick’s Day – Closing Night for The Reel Music Festival

Published On March 22, 2012 | By Megan Oquias | Live, Reviews

Last week several venues in Oshawa hosted a long list of shows for the 12th annual Reel Music Festival. The festival is an event organized, run and promoted by the Music Marketing students at Durham College as a culmination of all their studies throughout their time spent in the program. Not only is this an excellent opportunity for them to network, it is an opportunity to celebrate their hard work.

Closing night was (fittingly) hosted at the on-campus pub at Durham College. Sure, the campus is a little out of the way, and as an extra-added challenge the event was on St. Patrick’s Day. But regardless, a sizable crowd was in attendance. Not as large as some of the students had hoped, but all things considered it was still a rad time.

The line-up of bands was beyond stellar. The night kicked off with Dirty Nil, followed by The Sweet Mack, Teenage Kicks then closed with Topanga. Yep, nothing short of amazing.

Dirty Nil was a ball of energy that just smacked onlookers in the face with their bigger than their bodies stage presence. Their highly addictive riffs drew the crowd in instantly and lead singer, Luke did not shy away from going for the gold with his extensive vocal range. It’s nice to just see a band not give a flying fuck about what their audience could be thinking. This is just one of the things in general that I love about out of town shows: the judgmental eyes of the big city aren’t looming over a band so harshly that their performance suffers.

If you ever get the chance to see Sweet Mack live, do it. Just do it. Particularly if you’re a fan of bass riffs taking on a lead presence in tunes. I’m a sucker for a danceable beat so needless to say I was a fan. The ensemble attitude established by these dudes supported their harmonies and carried the flow of their entire set. The rhythm section is what makes this band what it is; classic undertones slightly manipulated by kick-drum heavy, surfer style beats. The band as a whole successfully combined classic rock fundamentals with that signature Canadian rock sound.

If any of you are consistent readers of The Take, you’ll know that I’m not stranger to reviewing Teenage Kicks. Here’s a quick run-down: I’ve reviewed their last two albums, plus their EP release party at The Shoe back in Summer 2011. PLUS I had the pleasure of sitting down with Jeff for an interview before that aforementioned show. I’m running out of things to say about them! They did not fail to deliver at this show. Peter was everywhere at once, as usual. Their energy and tone were in keeping with the whole line-up for the night. Some on-lookers were curious as to why they weren’t the headliners for the show, but among the musicians there was never any sense of any animosity.

It’s been a year since I first saw Topanga live. I was hooked since that faithful second night of CMW2011 at the Silver Dollar at 2am. These guys are just fun; as people and as musicians. They all clearly love what they do, and love that they’re doing it with each other (ok, that sounded dirtier than anticipated). All jokes aside, Topanga knows what it takes to make an impression with every performance. It goes to show that comfortability with each other can go a long way on stage. They are gracious, humble performers that know that you can’t just depend on the music to get your point across during a live show. Though really, their tunes are really effing good so everything else they put forth is just gravy. Their music is what the indie kids are feeding into their ear holes right now, and has the stability to be timeless I’m sure.

Topanga ended their set with a whole whack of covers and invited members from each of the bands that played before them on stage to sing along (with the exception of The Dirty Nil since they had to leave early on); starting with Weezer’s “Surf Wax America” with Peter from Teenage Kicks on vocals. Next was Gob’s “I Hear You Calling” with Adam from Sweet Mack. Everyone came on stage for their closing number “Last Night” by The Strokes. I lose my shit whenever bands do this at the end of a night, I wish this happened more. The crowd was good and sloshed by the last few tunes so everyone was in high spirits and loving life. Happy Paint Satrick’s Day, Durham.

See more photos here.

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About The Author

is in love with the live music scene in Toronto, and tries to hit as many shows as she can; whether it's a small venue or a bigger show. She is influenced mostly by Rock and Ska in her own music writing/performing, but has a soft spot for the indie bands that are popping up all over Canada, including local three piece Convoys who she proudly manages. She has been a happy writer for The Take since April 2010.

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