Dallas Green / Raising The Fawn / The Junction / The Sourkeys Lee's Palace, Toronto ON - January 29

This 19-plus late show, which had been preceded by an all-ages matinee, was best summed up when the Alexisonfire crooner asked between songs, "how are everyone's conversations going?" Sadly, those who stuck to the back of the bar and paid little attention to the performers on stage missed a fantastic show featuring some of the strongest acts currently emerging from Ontario's fertile musical ground. Waterloo's Sourkeys started off the night playing to an empty room, which was a damn shame. The group fuses the energy of post-hardcore acts like Fugazi with an intense dance-ability and a few tricks all their own, from violent shouts to bizarre rhythmic variations. The room had filled considerably for the Junction, whose easy-on-the-ears brand of funky pop-influenced emotive rock has been turning more and more heads every show they play. Never fitting into one singular stereotype or musical genre, the band defies categorisation without making too great an effort to be "different." They appear to be playing exactly what they want and the results are nothing short of breathtaking every time. Raising The Fawn put out good records but can be somewhat dull in a live setting. This was one such dull setting, as the group plodded through some interesting-sounding but altogether boring material mostly drawn from The North Sea. Dallas Green, best-known for his work with screamo superstars Alexisonfire, was the final performer, and while he has done one-off shows for his solo material in the past, this was at the tail end of what had been an entire solo tour. His solo work is subtle and intriguing, with all the intricacies of his guitar work in Alexis and the emotional strength of his phenomenal voice. With so many people talking, it was sometimes hard to hear his songs' gentler moments, but even the loudest crowd would find it impossible to drown out the power of Green's song.