October 16, 2010 — Jumping seems to be an essential move during a Hollerado concert. That, and shouting, cheering, jeering, and all around good-natured raucousness. Believe me, Hollerado had raucousness free-flowing through the Horseshoe Tavern last Saturday night, with Free Energy and Foxy Shazam adding to party as the opening acts.
Free Energy lived true to their name. They busted out onstage with high-octane vivacity and unquestionably catchy tunes like the self-titled “Free Energy” and “All I Know.” Lead singer Paul Sprangers constantly swung his hair around his face while waving his hands and dancing around the stage, drilling in lyrics like “Bang! Pop Pop!” into the audience’s head, and succeeding in leading sing-alongs. By the end of Free Energy’s performance, the Horseshoe was packed with barely enough room to breathe, leading me to wonder what shenanigans would ensue when Foxy Shazam took the stage.
Foxy Shazam are notorious for their ridiculous stage antics. Such rumors (that I’d heard) were validated with their performance on this night. But first: the music. Their tunes are catchy, and dancey too. Their music is loud, but melodic too. And Foxy Shazam has a hell of a lot of fans in Toronto. The few people I spoke to that night who weren’t there for Hollerado were there for Foxy Shazam. And Foxy gave them what they wanted: favorite tunes (including fan favorites such as “Unstoppable” and “Wanna Be Angel”) compounded with a strange, weird, and enjoyable performance. Singer Eric Nally ate his lit cigarettes onstage (three of them at once, I believe) while piano player Sky White posed for plenty of pictures while contorting his body around his keyboard. Nally also filled the space in-between songs with stories of fame and interviews and what not, which were all the more entertaining because of his high-pitched voice. Two exceptional performances already, and Hollerado had yet to take the stage.
As stated earlier, jumping seems to be essential at a Hollerado show. Which is how the band plunged into their performance: high energy, big smiles, humility (they thanked the audience at least 6 times), and just an all around good time. Most of us know what Hollerado’s music is like, and it pretty much mirrors their shows (even when listened to recorded versions): it’s fun, it’s rhythmic, and most of all, it’s memorable. Plus, the band genuinely wants to ensure their audience is having a good time. With confetti raining throughout the performance and guest spots from members of the Balconies, Dinosaur Bones, and the Arkells, their shows are amongst the must-sees of shows. Oh, and did I mention Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald were there too?
With Hollerado, there’s no doubt it’s going to be a good party.