Kicking off the night, London, ON's Single Mothers blasted out a set of music that didn't match the band's appearance. Sounding like a lost Dischord artist from the '90s DC hardcore scene, they were a great start the evening.
Tour-mates on this eastern tour, Meligrove Band, kept things moving with a set of pop-infused harmonies and some downright infectious delivery. It's easy to see where the Sloan comparisons come from, but no one should ever be ashamed of drawing a nod to such an influential catalyst on today's Canadian musical landscape. Meligrove Band's only Achilles heel is the sometime awkward between-song banter of drummer Darcy Rego, which came across as the only misplaced piece in an otherwise tight, well-paced set.
It's obvious London is as enchanted with the Most Serene Republic as their label Arts & Crafts is. In 2005, they became the first band that had no direct orbit in the Broken Social Scene nucleus to be signed to the label. A few moments of their live show and it's obvious why the A&C brain trust stepped outside the family, so to speak, when adding Most Serene Republic to the roster.
With seven members onstage, it would have been easy for the songs to get away from them. Yet it didn't, with the group becoming an incredibly tight and cohesive army of sound. They've certainly flourished as they've found themselves, and the live show is testimony to that place they've reached in their sonic development. It's taken three records to get there, but it's living up to that promise apparent from day one, and their universe just keeps expanding.