TUNS Mainstage Tent, Sackville NB, July 29
Published Jul 30, 2016Ending off the night right was TUNS, a trio composed three of the best Canadian songwriters from the '90s: Mike O'Neill (Inbred), Sloan's Chris Murphy on drums and Matt Murphy of the Super Friendz. Walking on stage with pink electrical tape on their shirts (Both Murphys with an "M" and O'Neill with an "O," perhaps this show was dedicated to mothers?), they battled with a bit of feedback before settling in.
After a board member's quick reminder to SappyFest goers to not camp in Memorial Park ("people get annoyed"), executive director Lucas Hicks gifted the band with vintage leather jackets that had "TUNS" patched on the back and something to banter about for the rest of the night. "It's gonna be really hot with this jacket," said Matt Murphy while putting it on. "Wear it for one song!," added Chris Murphy. "I want this jacket to be garbage by the end of the set."
TUNS couldn't be more happy-go-lucky if they tried, as song after song overflowed with shimmering, sticky melodies, some with "la la las," others with excellent vocal harmonies, including both publicly released songs, "Throw It All Away" and "Mind Over Matter."
"We'd like to present Matt with a hat and a scarf — a TUNS hat and a Dow Tech scarf," joked drummer Murphy. TUNS kept it light, easy and fun, with guitarist Murphy hamming up tight solos, wild leaps off of the bass drum and ending songs with zealous kicks in the air. Drummer Murphy hit hard, and O'Neill had a real George Harrison feel to him, as he sweetly sang.
"That's all the songs we know, unless you want to hear an awful Beatles cover? This is called 'Revolution 9,'" said drummer Murphy, before the band amusingly went into an awfully delightful cover of "There's A Place." TUNS house a Beatles quality to their sound, light and bright rock'n'roll, heavy on the harmony and melody, and focusing mostly on themes of love and lack thereof.
Despite their debut not being out yet, it was clear that TUNS delighted the audience with their saccharine stylings.