Thrush Hermit Lee's Palace, Toronto, ON March 26
Published Mar 27, 2010"So what the fuck have you been doing for the last ten years?" asked Rob Benvie, singing guitarist for the briefly reunited Thrush Hermit. From the crowd's rapturous welcome, it was pretty obvious: we'd all been waiting for this day to come. Halifax's Thrush Hermit didn't sell many records or achieve much commercial success through their decade-long run in the '90s, but judging by the overwhelming response to their nine-date, sold-out comeback/farewell tour, they definitely left their mark on a few thousand Canadians.
Benvie, Cliff Gibb, Ian McGettigan and Joel Plaskett may have looked like they were in their mid-30s, but when the four-piece launched into 1993's "Pink Is the Colour," you could see their inner 18-year-olds taking over. And that's how it was for most of the night, as the Hermit returned us to the salad days of taking another drag on that cigarette, hating it and French inhaling.
Over the course of 90 minutes, they put on - as their infamous, big-ass neon sign behind them reminded everyone - a "rock & roll" show. And they spoiled us by breaking into youthful rock gestures, announcing each other's solos and showing little reason as to why they ever broke up in the first place. It was a "hits-heavy" set featuring staples such as "North Dakota" with its two, three, four thrust, the rock-move-inducing "Patriot," and singalong magnets like "Oh My Soul!" and "The Day We Hit the Coast."
Signing off with two generous encores, it was clear that for many in the crowd the T-shirt said it all: Thrush Hermit Was My Favourite Band.