Horrorpops / Million Dollar Marxists / Hostage Life Reverb, Toronto ON - May 13, 2005

Horrorpops / Million Dollar Marxists / Hostage Life Reverb, Toronto ON - May 13, 2005
Playing to a barely conscious audience, Toronto's Hostage Life started this night of over-the-top theatrics by playing their hearts out for nothing more than an occasional smattering of applause from a very full room. It's likely that the band's honest, gritty, old school punk rock went unappreciated due to its lack of gimmickry, something most in attendance would be expecting for the rest of the evening. Closing their set with a kind "Fuck you, you guys have sucked!," the band never stopped giving their absolute all and songs from their Sing For The Enemy EP were executed with deadly precision. Million Dollar Marxists managed to capture the crowd's attention a little better, as singer Luke Nuclear threw himself around the stage and surrounding bars with little regard for his safety, or the sound coming out of his mic. Offering up a fast, melodic mix of rock and punk, the band was able to ignite a small, but significant by the night's earlier standards, circle pit for parts of their set. After a longer than expected wait due to insistent sound troubles, L.A.-by-way-of-Denmark psychobilly troupe Horrorpops took the stage. More of a carnival than a band, the group, which includes two very hard working go-go dancers, was as much about showmanship as musicianship. Kicking their set off with the rockabilly swing of "Psycho Bitches Outta Hell," the band set a tone of over-the-top kitsch and silliness, which they maintained solidly for the rest of their hour-long set. While the band was occasionally reminiscent of a Canada's Wonderland music spectacular, with a lot of "We're only gonna play the next song if you scream real loud!," the simple fact that they clearly don't take a thing they do seriously made for an entertaining show.