With a DJ playing '60s doo-wop all night, the stage was set for Toronto folk-rock faves, the Wooden Sky. Unassuming as a camel in the desert, their job was simple: get the crowd excited. And in the heat of the Biltmore, they did just that.
With the band clad in plaid, it was difficult not to be romanticized by their overwhelming brand of good time, stomp-heavy rock'n'roll. The dance floor was soon crowded, which meant the tunes from If I Don't Come Home You'll Know I'm Gone went over well. If you've heard the record, you can empathize.
Soon, the sweaty and plaid gave way to undershirts. It was time for Elliot Brood to deliver the trademark "death country" sound the crowd had been waiting for. "Welcome to the circus," front-man Mark Sasso proclaimed, in his lovable, throaty voice. It was nothing but a romp now, with the drunk crowd ready redemption on a Wednesday evening.
Ploughing through the Polaris Music Prize-nominated Mountain Meadows, Brood drew as grand a sound as possible from a three-piece band. Banjo in tow, Sasso showed the crowd the finest alt-country that Polaris neglected.
Midway through the set, the trio adopted a deep, Southern blues tone, taking advantage of the heat inside the Biltmore. And it's the group's rhythms that propel the band out of the blogosphere and into the critically acclaimed universe, slick with harmony and a graceful stage presence. There is nothing brooding about Elliot Brood.
Drunk on the moment, Elliot Brood convinced everyone to forget about their lives tomorrow, and it's difficult to want anything more out of a live show.