Mikal Cronin Silver Dollar Room, Toronto ON, June 13

Mikal Cronin Silver Dollar Room, Toronto ON, June 13
Photo: Matt Bobkin
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Much-hyped fuzz rocker Mikal Cronin kicked off his three-day stint at the Silver Dollar Room with a raucous hour-long set that showcased his ability to merge fuzz rock with summery guitars and hooks. Cronin was relatively quiet throughout the set, instead letting guitarist Chad Ubovich do most of the talking. In the end, Cronin's on-stage stoicism was forgiven, as his music spoke for itself, igniting the crowd into a joyous frenzy that involved many a stage dive and the occasional beer poured over the crowd like champagne. Cronin and his three-piece backing band were tight, and their gusto was evident in the killer riffs and relentless energy. Of note are the tunes "Weight" and "Shout It Out" from the recently released MCII that blasted the crowd with waves of fuzz without losing too much of the hook, and this delicate balance was successfully trod by Cronin throughout. He was constantly in action between punching out his lyrics, ripping it up on his twelve-string guitar, and even quickly repairing a broken string during the set. Cronin's crowning moment of achievement was during the set's finale, where he launched into a riotous guitar solo that required an inexplicable amount of vitality. The Silver Dollar Room is a tough venue to get going, but Cronin and his band handled it expertly. Whether or not the band will be able to do it again in the subsequent nights has yet to be seen, but regardless of the outcome, they can at least check off the first night as a victory.