Published Jun 08, 2014After almost four years of pan-Toronto touring and rehearsal, the Intentions have finally produced and released their debut album. On Saturday, June 7, the Intentions played a packed show at Lee's Palace to mark the momentous occasion.
As expected, the 11-piece band delivered a brilliant performance. Perfection has become the standard for this large soul ensemble who, since their foundation, have been pleasing GTA crowds with their combination original and standard material. The Intentions have been an attraction for me since stumbling across a performance of theirs in the modest Riverside Pub in Leslieville eight months ago. Even then, as a bi-monthly house band for a now defunct bar, the Intentions possessed a captivating presence. Their magnetism can be attributed to their understanding and delivery of the Motown sound, a visceral embodiment of the passion that characterizes soul music.
The two-set show was ornamented by both originals off the self-titled album and some better-known soul standards. With guitarist and bandleader Jonathan Ophek running the show, lesser-known originals from the album were as well received as Aretha Franklin hits. A remarkable performance of Franklin's "Rock Steady" encapsulated the Intentions ability to execute a 44-year-old, Queen of Soul classic with revitalized energy.
Their aptitudes extend beyond covers to their original compositions, which possess the same sensuality and lustre of shiny brass giants of old. Their track "What You Say is What You Want" was played with an unparalleled self-possessed power and temperament, inducing an uncontrollable (and unsightly) two-step from myself and other poor dancers. All of the content from the Intentions' self-titled album hit the mark, and by the end of the evening, almost nothing from the merchandise booth was left. Appropriately, most coveted among Intentions products were their vinyl pressings, proving old souls still exist.