Teenage Kicks / The Sweet Mack / The Dirty Nil / Cubs
Lee's Palace, Toronto, ON, October 5
The night began with Cubs, a fitting name for a band who was a baby in comparison to the ones that followed. The indie-folk pop quartet performed songs from their Easy There EP, as well as a few new tunes. A shaky beginning of too many slow songs improved as the band gained more confidence through their set.
Troublemakers the Dirty Nil turned up the volume with their punk-influenced hard rock. Frontman Luke Bentham delivered their laissez-faire style with a smile, and it was hard not to be captivated into singing choruses of tunes like "Cinnamon," which repeated the line, "You can be pissed off if you want to."
The Sweet Mack may play some sugary guitar pop, but that doesn't mean their fans don't get rowdy. Taken in by their infectious sunny melodies, the crowd danced, hopped and jumped about. Few guys even removed their shirts. Screams of, "Have my babies Adam!" could be heard.
Teenage Kicks bassist Jeff Van Helvoort and guitarist Patrick Marchent announced earlier last month that they would be leaving the band. When the group took the stage, however, you could never tell by the way they played. Peter Van Helvoort's crooning vocals kicked off with "Setting Son," the first track off this year's Be On My Side EP. Despite the fast-approaching lineup change for the '70s-rock-inspired band, new material was still delivered in the form of a chorus that went, "fuck you all and go to hell." The crowd was quick to catch on and sing along.
Fans left and right shouted names of their favourite songs, and their wishes were fulfilled with "Middle of the Night" and "I Get What You Give." Older tunes from Rational Anthem, "Heart of Darkness" and "Brooklyn Bridge," closed the night. A Lee's Palace packed full of crowd surfers and admirers belting along to every song proved how big the band had become in Toronto over the past two years. Whoever replaces Jeff and Patrick in the future has some big shoes to fill.
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