Saves The Day / Grandaddy / Hey Mercedes

Kool Haus, Toronto ON - April 1, 2004

BY Roman SokalPublished May 1, 2004

It was boggling to learn that the V2 psych-pop masters Grandaddy were to play on a bill alongside short-attention span, same-ish sounding, shopping mall emo bands, and on April Fool's day ironically (or, ideally) at that. Hey Mercedes ploughed with some commendable energy, but it was killed after it was announced that the Fire Theft were not going to play due to problems with the singer's mangled vocal pipes. When the wildcard 30-plus bearded gents that were Grandaddy took the stage, it was easy to figure out who their fans and enemies were. Despite being invited to partake in the tour by the headliners, the band was met with primal high-school-esque hostility. As the arty skateboard Beach Boys-meets-Pavement-sounding Grandaddy played in near-darkness, the many middle fingers, verbal insults and finger-in-ear-plugging was well-lit, so to speak, which did a good job of lowering the band's spirits. The result was an adequate performance tainted with a "going through the motions" vibe. It was akin to the scene in The Blues Brothers when the band gets mis-booked in a country and western club. Saves The Day might have saved the night somewhat, but, due to the sketchiness of the audience, it was a temporary salvation, one as temporary as their popularity, which will be forgotten quickly by the unforgiving, ruthless, myopic audience of youngsters. Grandaddy succeeded at the very least by deciding they would never be part of this kind of line-up again. "Kool" Haus indeed. April fool's, all!

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