Weakerthans / Constantines / Bicycles / Ford Pier Lee's Palace, Toronto ON - April 8, 2005

Weakerthans / Constantines / Bicycles / Ford Pier Lee's Palace, Toronto ON - April 8, 2005
With four sold-out shows in three nights, the promise of new material from the indie rock power combo of the Weakerthans and the Constantines had a capacity crowd excitedly buzzing for most of Friday night's show. Opener Ford Pier has a list of credentials that is a whole lot more impressive that his uneven set. As a former member of D.O.A. and touring member of Carolyn Mark and Martin Tielli's bands, his inability to maintain the uncontrollable energy of his first song made for a mostly lacklustre set. Locals the Bicycles received a significantly warmer welcome, and in spite of their short set, managed to impress the crowd with their multi-instrumental antics. Placing cardboard cut-outs of each of the band members at the front of the stage area, a clearly ironic tone was established right off the bat, and the sense of fun carried through the rest of their bouncy set. By the time the Constantines arrived, there was a tangible excitement, which exploded towards the end of their set, as a few audience members made the annoying decision to throw themselves wildly around the crowd. The band's set was incredibly tight, drawing on fan favourites from both their self-titled record and Shine A Light. Their new material was equally well-received, finding an appreciative ear with the eager audience. The Weakerthans were greeted by the overflow crowd from what one can only assume was the last Tragically Hip concert, as leather-jacketed insurance salesman offered the devil horns to the group between chugs of Molson. The band overcame the strange dynamic and delivered a wonderful set comprised mainly of material from Left And Leaving and Reconstruction Site, bringing out such songs as "My Favourite Chords," which was aided by a full-band arrangement at its coda. With some stellar new material and a rousing, almost ironic version of the Travelling Wilburys' "End of the Line" performed by both bands, there was no doubt that everyone in attendance left feeling that it was, indeed, "alright."