Sweet Thing Brings the Dance-Happiness, with Modernboys Moderngirls
June 30, 2010 – Headliners Sweet Thing played to a packed house at the Horseshoe Tavern last week. Were they good? You’ll read more about them in a bit. But first, fellow Toronto rockers Modernboys Moderngirls hit the stage as the premiere opening act.
I had seen Modernboys Moderngirls during NXNE 2010 at the Boat, and despite being really tired and angry at my camera (it was after 1am, and my lens had locked up) I still had a pretty good time. Needless to say, I was almost as excited to see them at Sweet Thing. But unfortunately, not many others were. The place was nearly empty, though I did see a few people bopping along at the back.
The band paid little attention to this unfortunate fact; they still looked like they were having a good time onstage. An intense time, even. With gritty, garage rock-infused tunes and uplifting tempos, Modernboys Moderngirls drills their rhythms into the audience, provoking – at the very least – foot-tapping and head-bopping. In better cases, dancing even (in this sparse audience, this was a rare but very happy occurrence). Their lyrics are memorable as well, if in the simplest way. In “missmybabygirl,” lead singer Akira Alemany pounds the words “miss my baby girl” into your head, so that you can’t help but sing along. Songs like “My Baby Says Boy, Don’t You Ever Go” and “On the Line” are sure to remain in the minds of the average concertgoer, even if they’re deeply involved in conversation during the performance.
After Modernboys Moderngirls finished their set, I was hungry for more. So hungry, in fact, that I ended up at McDonalds with friends and missed most of the second opener, San Sebastian. When we got back to the Horseshoe, they were doing a cover of “Twist and Shout,” and that’s probably the most I can tell you about them. There were, however, infinitely more people there. And more would keep arriving, tightly packing the venue in anticipation for Sweet Thing.
When it was finally their turn to do so, Sweet Thing took their time coming onstage. There were so many people at the Horseshoe by this point that I could smell B.O. The audience was also getting antsy, and repeatedly chanting “Sweet Thing! Sweet Thing! Sweet Thing!” When they finally hit the stage, tensions eased as they busted out into one of their quintessential dance-rock tunes, and arms went up in the air almost immediately.
Sweet Thing killed it onstage, as they tend to do. Lead singer Owen Carrier is a true stage performer, with his eyes widening in accordance to song choruses and his hands gesturing at appropriate breaks. He’s also charismatic, and makes varied eye contact with [mostly] girls in the audience, probably setting hearts aflutter. Sweet Thing, as a band, know how to bring the energy. They wear a lot of clothes at first (vests; tailcoats, collared shirts, etc.) which slowly come off as the heat continues to climb throughout their set. They also pound out tune after excellent tune, each which sounds way better when experienced live than on their Myspace page. The crowd goes wild, as does the band (in a sense) when they play songs like “Spider” and their current hit, “Dance Mother.”
The band ended their set (and their encore) with “Everyone,” which I can see becoming a Sweet Thing classic once they blow up big-time. And they will. After packing the Horseshoe with frenzied, dance-happy fans, Sweet Thing could be the next big thing.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY GENEVIEVE LUI