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The Penske File at Clinton’s Tavern – Toronto Live Review



Who: The Penske File

From: Burlington, ON

Where: Clinton’s Tavern, Toronto

When: Thursday, December 19th, 2013


 Total Score: 9/10

[starreviewmulti id=3 tpl=20]


Style: The Penske File are a fantastic, never before seen or heard mixture of melodic folk punk, pop punk and punk rock. Let’s call it “brother-punk” because whether you know them or not, they feel like your friends when they’re up on stage. Penske’s latest tunes range from fun, have a few beers with your buds party songs, like the track “Paintbrush Eyes”, to some deeper and more serious jams that make you sit down and reflect for awhile, like “I’ve Been Thinking” written entirely by their drummer. Spectacular and well-rehearsed three-part harmonies combine with clever lyrics and heavy punk guitar riffs to make full heartfelt songs. The very talented Travis Miles’ addition of harmonica complements their sound with a bluegrass feel. The Penske boys certainly know how to entertain a room.

Crowd: While the crowd turnout was a little bit disappointing, due to some pretty poor Canadian winter weather conditions, the Penske File still played a fun and even intimate set to those of us who could make it out despite the freezing rain. Something very special happens the moment that the Penske boys walk onto the stage. The crowd completely lights up, almost as if they can feel the electric energy coming off of Travis, James and Alex. Going on their stage presence alone, these three could sell out a venue. Not a single person in the pack could resist tapping their foot or dancing along from the beginning to the end of the set. Whether the crowd is large or small, no matter if they are playing in somebody’s basement or on a big stage in a concert hall, you can always trust The Penske File to get every single person in the room having a great time.

Technicalities: The Penske File are a three piece act, composed of Travis Miles as multi-talented guitarist, harmonica player and singer, James Hall rocking the bass and Alexander Standen never missing a beat on drums. While the three claimed to be tired in their in-between song banter with the crowd, nobody would have guessed by the way they kept up their thrilling, high-energy performance and played a full set notwithstanding the turnout.

Image/Sex Appeal: The young trio look exactly like you would expect them to: tattooed and bright-eyed. Their chipper, in-your-face attitudes make them fun to watch and even more fun to listen to. The way that they interact with the crowd is straight up impressive, without holding back or even a hint of coyness they’ll make you laugh and want to get up and dance.

Memorable Moments: When the band played their song “The Graveyard” off of their most recent album, A Restless Symphony released this past year, you could not help but feel heartache from the strong emotion tied in with the lyrics of the song.

Overall: You should give The Penske File a delayed round of applause from wherever you are reading this. The up and coming punk rockers definitely deserve every word of praise that they receive. At such a young age and with so much potential there is just no telling how far they will go. It is refreshing to see such a talented group remain modest and humble about the incredible party that is, The Penske File.



Words and pictures by Alyson Becker



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