Moneen Horseshoe Tavern Toronto, ON December 23

Moneen Horseshoe Tavern Toronto, ON December 23
Perhaps Dickens's Ghost of Christmas past is to thank? With holiday spirit in full effect, Peter Krpan, Moneen's original drummer who left in 2008, returned to play the band's special "Christmas Extravaganza" show -- one that turned into the greatest gift Moneen could give their fans.

An eruption of cheers was unleashed when Dr. Lozlo Pronowski's voice filled the room. The band promised a set list of older material; resurrecting the fictional professor from their first full-length The Theory of Harmonial Value confirmed what everyone was hoping for.

Hundreds of fans elbowed and fought to get as close to the front as possible, and then went in an absolute frenzy hearing the first keyboard note of "Start Angry... End Mad." The band spent the next hour and a half playing material from every album except their latest, The World I Want to Leave Behind. With the crowd fist-pumping, stage-diving and singing along to every word, it didn't seem like it bothered them -- or the band.

Krpan looked at ease filling in his old role; Erik Hughes (bass) and the Hippy (guitar) were their usual happy-go-lucky selves, smiling and enjoying each moment; and frontman Kenny Bridges infected the audience with his energy, jumping around and at one point during "The Passing of America" hanging from the ceiling of the venue.

Moneen revived their Smaller Chairs EP and played a large chunk of Theory and Are We Really Happy with Who We Are Right Now?, although not always knowing the song titles. "They're all long," Bridges laughed. "We look back at those songs and think, 'Wow that whole part needs to be rewritten.' It's just weird for the sake of being weird."

With comments like that, combined with Krpan behind the kit again, it almost seemed like a farewell show. Any longtime fan will cringe at that thought, but if it was (or the beginning of the end), then they left on the most perfect note. 
With the audience still, everyone sang the final words of "The Last Song I Will Ever Want to Sing" before the band walked off, appearing that much more thankful for the opportunity they had to revisit their past.