The Sonics in Toronto

May 3, 2015 at 2:32 pm (Uncategorized)

You know, there comes a time in every music fan’s life where said fan thinks, “I’m getting too old for this.” Usually it comes after a night out, and now the work day approaches after a lot less sleep than is comfortable. And yet, it’s been almost half a century since the last Sonics record, so if they can do it, so can I.

A month or two ago I was in Soundscapes talking to one of the guys who worked there about the show. I’d missed the Sonics at North by North East a few years earlier and wasn’t sure whether I wanted to see the band who in all likelihood wouldn’t be able to recapture those glory days.  The conversation nudged me in the right direction (“Gerry Rosile can still hit the notes”), but if I’m going to be honest, the deal maker was that catL was opening the show.

If you haven’t seen catL, you have missed something beautiful. A duo of JP and Sarah, although joined on stage by their harmonica playing friend Pete,  catL come into their element live. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the records are great, but live they are incredible. The fifty-minute set pulled songs from their four albums, and I almost left then, thinking that was going to be a peak. I picked up the album I was missing from my collection, and got a rather nice catL tote bag as well. Cool.

But of course, I stayed for the Sonics, and then the wait was worth it. The band was promoting their new record This is the Sonics, and ran through most of the album as if they were the songs they had been playing all of their lives. New songs sounded like old, and old songs sounded like old friends. Along with the new, covers from Bo Diddley, the Hoodoo Gurus, and even their version of Louie Louie (a sad note – Jack Ely, the singer on the Kingsmen’s version passed away a few days after the show). Of course the hits came too, with “Strychnine,” “Psycho” and “The Witch” bringing things to a close.  (Was a bit sad “Walking the Dog” didn’t make the set list, but at least “Have love will travel” made it)

A great show. But two things nagged at me. The hacking cough which caused people to move away from me during the show as I coughed up a lung, and if this was the Sonics at 70, when someone invents a time machine so I can go to see them at their peak, will I be strong enough to endure the mighty Sonics?

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1 Comment

  1. Goodbye 2015 | Notes from Underground said,

    […] John Cooper Clarke, the Sonics, the Rezillos. Bands I never thought I’d see, but they all played Toronto this year. Now, my […]

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