Burning Brides NXNE, Toronto, ON June 17 to 21, 2009

It was pleasing to see a full house congregate at the El Mocambo for Philly rock trio Burning Brides. Critically-acclaimed but commercially underrated, they displayed no signs of rust from a layoff from playing live (Bassist Melanie Campbell and singer/guitarist Dimitri Coats recently had a baby). The band's take on hard guitar rock is more varied than most, with their songs mixing melody and muscle to winning effect. The harmonies suggested X on steroids. Older favourites like "Glass Slipper" and "Arctic Snow" (their first ever single) still sound great, while such new songs as "Lovesick" also showed promise. As refreshing as their vibrant sound is an onstage demeanour reflecting the fact that they clearly love playing together in front of an appreciative crowd.