In 2014, Kazoo! Fest was the talk of the town when it announced on short notice that beloved Guelph exports Constantines would mark their return from indefinite hiatus even earlier than publicized for a surprise appearance at the outreach headquarters of James Gordon's campaign for political office.
In the midst of celebrations for its 10th anniversary, this year, all of Kazoo! felt like it was leading up to their headlining set at Mitchell Hall, audience chatter increasingly abuzz with debate about how best to gain entry to the gig in the church gymnasium as the festival progressed. Individual advance tickets sold out early, none were available at the doors and only 100 wearers of Kazoo!'s otherwise all-access Crony Passes would be guaranteed entry.
Needless to say, this one was packed to the gills.
But this wasn't the night of retrospection some expected. Instead, the band forfeited some standards ("Nighttime / Anytime (It's Alright)," anyone?) to make room in their hour-and-a-half set for a handful of new tracks.
Amongst fans, an ongoing concern predating this group's hiatus has pondered how the Cons will continue to match the bottled youthful exuberance they've committed to record, and while the breakneck performance of "National Hum" and a galvanizing "Young Offenders" built its own case against such speculation, it was encouraging to see the band resist resting on their laurels with some of their most crowd-pleasing material (not to mention that fan service isn't a recipe for creative sustainability, either).
With Kazoo! accounting for one of just two bookings this year, it might feel like live appearances are few and far between, but this one confirmed that Will Kidman, Steve Lambke, Doug MacGregor, Bry Webb and Dallas Wehrle are in it for the long haul, so there'll be plenty of chances to see them do that one they didn't do (and more importantly, even more material to fall in love with) down the road.