Great Hall, Toronto, ON, March 21
Taking the stage to a woefully empty hall, Mad Ones played with undeterred determination, delivering a smattering of tracks from their debut LP and just released EP, Burning Window. Live, the guitar and drums duo do an admirable job of replicating their studio work, but their songs too often default to a fast and loud setting without enough cadence or dynamics to break through the noise. It was a situation not helped by the poor sound that drowned out any variation in guitarist Andrew DeVillers fretwork. Yet the band were openly enthusiastic — DeVillers was grinning from ear to ear for the majority of the set. And he was able to entice the slowly growing crowd to fill the gap at the front of the stage by set's end. Heavy on meat-and-potatoes riff rock, Mad Ones' energy just needs to be matched by a stellar batch of tunes.
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