Sleepy Sun Hard Luck Bar, Toronto ON, May 7

Sleepy Sun Hard Luck Bar, Toronto ON, May 7
Photo: Shane Parent
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Last night at Hard Luck Bar, Sleepy Sun played a blistering set of psych-rock that leaned heavily on their new album, Maui Tears, and their sophomore album, Fever. The band were tight and road tested, jamming through long and twisting songs without looking at each other. Lead guitarist Matt Hollimann brought that classic Jimi Hendrix sound to the mix with his guitar solos, appropriately aided by a white Stratocaster and Marshall stack, while bassist Jack Allen and drummer Brian Tice kept the chaos grounded with a perfectly locked groove.

That said, Canadian Music Week can be one of the more punishing festivals for bands to play, and this was apparent throughout the night. With a festival program the length of Moby Dick and featuring a wide mixture of genres, plus shows at nearly every venue in the city, it's easy to get a little overlooked. Sleepy Sun took the stage under dreadful lighting, both too bright and unflattering to the performers, and played to a half-full room of attendees who were mostly standing still or talking to friends. "Welcome to Wednesday night," lead singer Bret Constantino said at one point, seemingly disenchanted with his surroundings. It was a testament to the band's talent and good nature that they rallied through and gave it their all.

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