Zeus Takes Over The Mod Club

Published On May 29, 2010 | By admin | Live
Check out more photos in the Photo Set section.

May 27, 2010 — Ah, to be indoors on such a sweltering Toronto summer-masquerading-as-springtime evening. Honestly, the weather gods must be crazy, but don’t tell them I said so. Hence, a little triple fun at the Mod Club in Little Italy, featuring as headliners none other than Toronto popsters, Zeus, was more than welcome.

Danielle Duval, a good band, played a decent set, but it was a little lukewarm. Their gentle-touch country-pysch didn’t quite translate well, feeling a little slight. Danielle herself took a couple of songs to warm up and look comfortable, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that sheer willpower kept her (and the band) onstage.

Matt Murphy came up next, an instant hit, rollicking and charming the room with his solid songsmanship. The man’s a pro at this by now, having played in Canada for more than a decade.  Playing the Mod Club (how droll!) reminded me of his earnest workmanlike forays into 60′s UK style mod-rock back in the day. Oh well, he has nothing to prove to anyone. His heart-on-sleeve romanticism always plays well. We owe him a living. The recent acting jobs are one thing, but Matt Murphy belongs permanently in live music, rocking the garage pop vibe until he eventually retires to the Yukon wilds.

Then we went from a real Canadian hero to something quite different, but no less august. The headliners of this hot summer May night. The crowd was at near capacity as Toronto-bred band Zeus boarded the stage with their outsized griffin cut-outs and their theatrical shimmy. Dear God, did they bring the rock.  Instant levitation spread through the room. All hard angles, heroic mustaches and gusto… this is a band. It finally struck me that for a quartet, they defy natural laws and can boast of no less than three frontmen: Carlin, Mike and Neil. Three out of four ain’t bad. It’s actually badass.

The three front men, all as different from each other as Hindu gods Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma are, are like a group of eccentric wooly mammoths that’s clambered out of frozen Canadian indie wildernesses, having slogged as a backing band to other performers one too many times (I’m looking squarely at you, Jason Collett). And now they’re pissed and ready to perform miracles. Like all disgruntled magicians of the spirit, they demanded tricks from the crowd as well (cheekily asking at one point for the crowd to clap along in the key of F – as herculean a feat as any, let me assure you, since I failed to achieve this one task asked of me). Having stormed stage and club with supreme confidence and their pendragon choruses in mercury-quick songs that went nowhere (which is to say, everywhere), they had time for one last encore: the taunt of “That’s All”.  I took a final look around. Not a single heretic in the crowd.

Enjoy the photos from the show, and never miss Zeus in this town, ever.

Check out more photos in the Photo Set section.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY GENEVIEVE LUI

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