Family Day with some Heartless Bastards

March 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm (Uncategorized)

This is probably the reason I’m not a journalist or a music critic. Too slow to  get things written. Anyway, a review of the Heartless Bastards show in Toronto a few weeks back. Sorry, no pictures for this one either. None of my shows were usable.

Who goes to a club on a Monday night? Who goes to a club on Family Day? apparently quite a few people, if Monday’s Heartless Bastards show at the Horseshoe Tavern is any indication. The club was packed, and packed early, but perhaps it reflected the return of this amazing band to Toronto more than nay general rule about holidays.

I arrived at the shoe a little after 9 and opener Devin Therriault was already on stage. Hadn’t seen him before, but he played an energetic blend of rock ‘n’ roll, and rockabilly. Great show. Score a free song at his site.

Just before 10, Hacienda took the stage. I saw Hacienda last year when they opened for the Greenhornes, and while I liked them last time, I much preferred this year’s show. The songs sounded shorter and sharper, and had an urgency to them that was lacking last time. New album out soon.

A short break and it was on to the main event. With the release of their fourth album Arrow, the Heartless Bastards show they are still at the top of their game. Erika Wennerstrom’s voice is a bit of an acquired taste, but there’s no denying the power behind it and her guitar. The band played a selection of songs from across their catalogue , and with each song the audience responded appreciatively.

Two minor criticisms. THe spotty sound quality at the Horseshoe. Now the Horseshoe is one of my favourite venues in Toronto. A small club with great sight lines, but for some reason, the band had sound problems throughout their set (it did get better as things went on). Second, whenever the band build up momentum with a rocker, they seemed to follow it with a slow song. Not that the songs weren’t great, but it tended to stall things.

OK, the first happens sometimes, and the second is merely carping. A great show, but garage band blues rockers. What is it with Ohio these days?




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