The Coast / The Bicycles / David Martel / The Elwins Sneaky Dee's, Toronto, ON December 6

The Coast / The Bicycles / David Martel / The Elwins Sneaky Dee's, Toronto, ON December 6
After a hectic year of constant touring, local boys the Coast could be forgiven for relaxing a little at their last show of the year and first home gig in a long while. The presence of three support acts suggests that maybe they're looking for an easy gig, and it's soon clear that there's enough talent on show tonight for them not to worry about impressing too much.

The simple, funk-infused '60s pop of the Elwins set the bar high from the start, with standout track "Larry Pastorus" garnering them a warm enough reception to replace their evident nerves with well-deserved confidence. Montreal singer-songwriter David Martel took things up a notch, supplementing guitar and cello with layers of his own voice to create startlingly powerful songs. Though it sounds horribly pretentious, he has the talent to back up the idea, and used it to great effect beatboxing into the mic to create a makeshift drum loop.

The Bicycles then hijacked the gig before it got too serious; storming the stage with two tambourines and all the unashamed pop fun you could wish for. Like an unlikely amalgamation of the Eagles and the B-52's, this band created bouncy pop tunes with an American feel, but got away with such blatant musical inbreeding because they're clearly having so much damn fun themselves.

Though the fans now packing out Sneaky Dee's were already drunk on great music as well as liquor, the Coast thankfully chose not to rest on their laurels and pulled out a set of crowd-pleasers that didn't disappoint, going far beyond the quality necessary to make this crowd even happier. Dragged back onstage for a short encore, the boys basked in the love of their local crew before melting off the stage, looking utterly exhausted but very happy to be back in Toronto.