The Indies and the Elmo joined forces to showcase 18 bands that are making waves in the industry. They played both upstairs and downstairs to an open minded crowd that was hungry to absorb new sounds in their lives. It was a most diverse group of sounds I have heard in many years. The range went from a duo doing and acoustic set all the way to a modern Metal band. There was Classic Rock, modern Rock that blends different flavours of sounds, Alternative, Pop and even electronic sounds seeped into the night.
You had a choice of staying on one floor to see half the bands or you got your 10,000 steps in by running up and downstairs to try and catch every act. Here are a bunch of short reviews I gathered in my dash around the Elmo.
Taylor Simpson- They started the evening off well, with their high energy pop sounds. The light hearted bounciness of their set got the crowd in a good mood as their vibe almost felt like a hard rock band wanting to spew a slightly reckless way of being, but they contained all that energy inside a colourful bubble and had people bouncing up and down instead. Their songs were catchy and the lead singer sort of reminded me of Pete Townshend from the Who, but without all that destructive behavior. Clearly this band was up on stage having a Blast! My quick review would be, if my heart were a ball it would bounce with Taylor Simpson.
Here are some images of Taylor Simpson:
Rose Cora Perry and the Truth Untold- They started off with a simple 4/4 timing as they slowly built their way into a rocking good time. The shift was flawless and you just rode the wave of their good time. Rose Cora Perry has got a high sharp and clear voice that cuts through the music just enough and treats you like a wonderful host making sure you are having a good time. The track that stood out for me was a song called “Empty”. It starts with heavy hitting drums and turns quite sludgy as the sound seems to wrap around your sticky feet and pulls you slowly into a tar pit. They don’t get too fancy, but would rather keep a solid wall of sound filling the room full of feel good Rock and Roll. She hails from London, no not the English kind of London, but our neighbours two hours away. My quick review would be to remember the band’s name and every time you see them making the effort to come to Toronto that Toronto makes an effort to go see Rose Cora Perry and the Truth Untold.
Here are some images of Rose Cora Perry and the Truth Untold:
Moondoggy- They hail from Collingwood and bring an earthy, solid, straight forward rock to the stage. They do have versatility to them. They have 3 guitarists on stage, but one of the members can switch over to a sax and completely change their sound. Their song, “What a Shame”, had 3 guitars and created a slippery and swampy sound. They changed over to the sax and you could hear moments of Steely Dan and a little Roxy Music in there. Their Song, “Passport”, transported you to a place of sophistication and they finished of the evening with “Ramona”. This song is so close to being a cool Ska song, but they held it back just enough to keep its Rock roots earthy and clean. My quick review is if you like a band with a variety of different sound and are not out to hurt your eardrums, this is the band you want to watch out for.
Here are some images of Moondoggy:
Us or Aliens- This was an unexpected surprise of a band. The opening notes sound like they were going into a strange new territory. If the Alan Parson Project decided to go into electronic metal, this is how I saw, Us and Aliens. Just as I was adjusting to this sound, they did a 180 and hit us with a mix of hip hop meets hard modern rock that gets your heart pumping. They are working on blending hard rock with commercial viability. The easiest way I can describe their alternate sound is if Our Lady Peace kept updating their sound with a creative force that steered away from the commercial spotlight. They actually did your classic 90’s Rock Ballad that did sound like something you would here on the radio several times a day. My quick review would be this band is capable of creating Anthems for the mentally unstable.
Here are some images of Us or Aliens:
The Sunset Drip- The second I walked into the room and heard the first few notes, I knew this was going to be the treat of the evening. Being a fan of classic 70’s rock, with bands like Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith, Sunset Drip continues the story in today’s age. They are like a caged animal with true Rock and Roll balls! Their wicked energy and controlled chaos kept me at the edge of rocking bliss. I wanted to truly watch this band without losing myself completely in the music. Their command of the stage is so engaging that you simply cannot look away and the singer’s hat makes up the fashion statement. My quick review is simply- Watch out for this Band!
Here are some images of The Sunset Drip:
Fall of Earth- What can I say in one or two sentences? Imagine a jackhammer with social issue assaulting your skull, or maybe a freight train screaming through a jungle and cutting down every tree it hits. When you go see this band, you can decide which one makes more sense. They are a highly organized machine of madness as they hit you with almost every genre of Heavy Metal out there. They can go from serious hard rocking into genres like, Thrash, Death, and Progressive. Who knew such a well oiled machine came from Edmonton Alberta. Did you see what I did there? Oil/Alberta… My quick review is simply this. If you love Metal, this is a great Canadian band flying the flag high, so go out and support them!
Here are some images of Fall of Earth:
Living Dead Girl- My first impression was they are like an offshoot from Evanescece. As they got deeper into their set this post pop punk goth band proved their stage worthiness. They used the entire stage to keep the crowd engaged and their sound was diverse enough to run a Baskin Robbins store. 31 flavours and counting… Their stage fashion was fun and dark. They looked like living anime characters with demented charm. Molly Rennick fronts this band of misfits and has the talent to keep the audience completely engaged in what they are doing. With her head banging moments to her being in your face if you are going to stick your face in her business, this band literally goes to town on an audience like a praying mantis. My quick review is simply this… Who knew that dysfunction could be so fun!
Here are some images of Living Dead Girl:
These are nights Toronto needs to live for. Be open and go check out events like this one. There will be a band that you can walk away and claim as your new favourite. Toronto just get out there and have a Blast!