Gentleman Reg Gladstone Hotel, Toronto ON March 9

Gentleman RegGladstone Hotel, Toronto ON March 9
Gentleman Reg is a superstar of Toronto indie rock, even if he occasionally finds himself playing to a half empty room. While it's unfortunate that Toronto let a little monsoon weather get in the way of seeing a performance so genuine, Gentleman Reg was in fine form. Keyboard player Kelly McMichael was, too, and deserves applause not only for her stunning vocals but for her stamina -- Rouge, in which she is also a member, played earlier in the night. A particularly heartfelt rendition of "Wild Heart" was played at the request of a fan, and there was also a Sheryl Crow cover that no one saw coming. Both were enjoyable, but the show's best moments came with songs from Gentleman Reg's forthcoming album. The rockier, less sombre side of Gentleman Reg fares better than the whiskey-drinking melancholic one. "That's what our new record's going to sound like," he quipped after finishing a new song reminiscent of a pre-popification "Dead Disco"-era Metric. We can only hope.