The Thermals Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON May 3

The Thermals Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON May 3
In only their second time playing Toronto in seven years, Portland, OR's the Thermals arrived looking a bit tired but no less happy to be here.

Remaining rather comfy in their three assigned spots, front-man/guitarist Hutch Harris, bassist Kathy Foster and newly appointed drummer Westin Glass didn't exude the energy that rings through their anthemic indie punk anthems. But to their defence, they didn't really need to - the raucous few up front were more than ready to give the Horseshoe the jolt that comes with a night rocking out to the Thermals. Or should I say shove?

Seeing as the small mosh pit seemed ignorant of those who didn't want to be knocked over. I suppose they had reason to get rowdy, seeing as the band didn't hold back on their surplus of fist-pumping anthems. Pumping out new ones from their freshly squeezed fourth album, Now We Can See, the band brought more life to the songs on stage than on the record, which lacks the unhinged fuzz of the previous records; the "oh-way-ohhh-whoa" of "Now We Can See" received some vitalization from the crowd, and "When We Were Alive" was straight-up punk-infused.

Hutch wore his energy in the sweat-soaked shirt on his back, which gave an exclamatory mark to the rollicking fuck you of "A Pillar of Salt" and then the one-two cold-cocking of "Here's Your Future" followed by golden oldie "No Culture Icons."

Though they didn't exactly make our earth quake, baby, even a slightly restrained version of the Thermals is still worth the price of admission.