Oneida / Lullabye Arkestra / Tropics Lee’s Palace, Toronto ON August 15

Arriving just in time to hear the last song of Tropics’ set, it was good to hear Toronto’s Slim Twig (one of Tropics’ two members) playing music that was less annoying than his solo work, but most of that credit is due to his drummer’s powerful syncopated kit pummeling. Next up, Toronto’s Black Sabbath-humping-Motörhead lovechild, Lullabye Arkestra, bashed their way through some vigorous punk shouters with vocals courtesy of drummer Justin Small before fuzz-bassist supreme Katia took over with her beautifully booze-soaked wail. It was good to hear the group through a sound system that could handle their booming bottom-end enough to make their riffs audible. It was obvious that the focus of the night was 100 percent on Oneida though. As soon as the group took the stage, the room became positively electrified. The extremely enthusiastic crowd rushed the sparse stage front, showing excellent spirit for a 10:00 p.m. headlining set on a Friday. Oneida pounced directly into the start of their new album, Preteen Weaponry, and didn’t let up until they’d played the whole bloody psychedelic behemoth through, top to bottom. It was the first time many audience members had heard the album but the magnificence of the performances and absolutely stellar material translated as instantly epic classics on the spot, and familiar joyous catharsis for the already acquainted. That familiar joyous catharsis is what Oneida dished out in spades with the fantastic series of career spanning fan-favourites that followed. Oneida add the mostly awesomely cocky, geeked-out rock humour to their stage presence and the banter is utterly charming, bad-ass, and hilarious all at once. To put it bluntly, Kid Millions is a fucking god of intense willpower on the drums. Easily one of the best damn sets I’ve seen a band play, this could have been the performance of the year if the Dance Cave upstairs hadn’t made Oneida end exactly at 11:00 p.m. for a "live to air” radio show, giving them only one hour to melt their fans’ minds.