Rheostatics The Whale Music Concert, 1992

In Novermber 1992, with two critically-acclaimed albums behind them and a theatre full of the converted before them, the Rheostatics threw a coming-out party for themselves. At the time, you couldn’t throw a rock on Queen St. without hitting an Eddie Vedder impersonator, and that night in the Bathurst Street Theatre, the Toronto music community came together en masse and were given a glimpse of all that music could and should be. This isn’t to say that the Rheos were at their best that night — navigating their first foray into a big room with an unwieldy line-up of special guests meant that the night was something of a rollercoaster ride — but it was an exciting ride nonetheless, and listening back to the recording now, the highs dramatically outshine the lows. If you had the privilege of seeing the Rheos live in the early ’90s, you’ll remember how impossible it seemed that a band could ever be this good: this artful, this effortless, this sharp, this moving. If you weren’t so lucky as to have been there, this recording offers a fine opportunity to recapture an important moment in Canadian music history. (Zunior)