Music for The Masses at The Bovine Sex Club – Toronto Review
I expected the worse when I saw these 2 dudes dressed like hipsters on the stage, but looks are deceiving. They sound like they spent countless hours listening to The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZtop. Â TheÂ guys are not the mostÂ original bandÂ but theyÂ look very energetic and passionate about their craft.Â They had a special charm that captivated the audience.Â Straight in your face southern rock that did not disappointÂ although they should get rid of some their weaker songs.Â The duo played a very longÂ set – they played after 2am.Â Great set list, cool venue, fun crowd, and excellent sound system = Smiles all around!
Sons of Otis
Sadly, Sons of Otis had a ton of problems with the sound, apparently the band didn’t do sound check. “Everything is broken” said guitarist/vocalist Ken Baluke.Â The newer tracks these veterans played were received like a classic. Â In the beginning, a small pit ensued up front but never seemed to be a rager like I had expected. I have seen better pits at metal shows, however it got much better towards the end. This band delivers on stage, the trio were firing on all cylinders, completely in a groove with each other. Besides opening for YOB at the Courthouse two years ago we haven’t heard much from Sons Of Otis lately.Â Â Let’s hope they make a come back, Stoner Rock is bigger than ever thanks to bands like High On Fire.Â Ageless rhythm king Frank SargeantÂ (ex Sin Dealer)— never missing a beat standing shoulder to shoulder withÂ Ken Baluke = acid kings!
I heard a big Thin Lizzy influence on their songs.Â Wearing a UFO shirt while playing a white flying V Gibson, guitarist Tommy Smokes looked like a huge Michael Schenker fan.Â They definitely have good guitar harmonies but the songs could be better. Some lazy songs here and there but Saigon Hookers did the best they could. Â I saw a very stoic crowd and a bored rhythm section. Perhaps they didn’t have the stamina to play live tonight.Â Whatever the band lacked in emotion they made up for with a technically flawless performance.
The Dirty Water
Stage Presence:Â 3
Image/Sex Appeal:Â 3
Musical Abilily:Â 2
Crowd Reaction: 1
The Dirty Water sounded more like a jam session than a band.Â Â I personally didn’t get what this band was about as the drummer and the guitar player sounded sloppy as hell. Guess who’s excited for this band? No one!… that’s who. The poor crowd looked like they wanted to leave the venue -some bands are just not ready to take the stage yet, maybe if they were prepared, concert attendees could actually enjoy a true musical presentation rather than, well, a sloppy show.Â The singer’s voice, has been worn down to a thin, jagged, whimper. It sounded broken to me. Â I guess they just don’t make ’em like they used to.
Unfortunately I missed “The True Romantics”.Â Â Overall, the one day music festival known as Music For The Masses at The Bovine was a worthy investment for a Friday night out.Â Â Â There were other shows happening at Cherry Cola’s and The Velvet Underground too, which were a part of the mini festival.Â Â While it would have been nice to catch The Mahones or Robin Black, I couldn’t be in two places at once.Â Â Â My only suggestion is that they stretch it over a couple of days next time so the audience has a chance to attend more than one venue.Â Â Â There is another one happening in Thunder Bay late September which is scheduled for two days.
Review: Giancarlo Cortez
Photos: Paul Toborovsky