Darlene Shrugg

Main Stage, Field ON, July 15

Darlene ShruggMain Stage, Field ON, July 15
Photo: Sarah Greene
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Sturgeon River at dusk is admittedly a weird place to see garage-y Toronto supergroup Darlene Shrugg for the first time (their natural habitat would probably be somewhere dark and dirty and hot), but so what — the group killed it.
 
The band — with members from Tropics, U.S. Girls and Ice Cream — are clearly in it for fun, serious fun. Their psychedelic Nuggets-y stuff was often blisteringly fast and short, featuring frequently swapping lead and gang vocals, while at other times they were bluesy and open-ended. It's quite a thing to have not one, but three or four strong leads.
 
What's most amazing about Darlene Shrugg is how much fun they have with erstwhile cheesy endeavours. I'm talking head banging-worthy riffs, crazy high vocals, and a good use of that famous U2 effect (probably a wah pedal). A reclamation of stadium rock, on a small scale, for the people.
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