Walking into The Rivoli, I prepared myself for a diverse musical experience. The three bands to perform that night range from jazzy and pop to hardcore punk with one somewhere in the middle. This would explain the audience being everything from heavily tattooed, pierced punk rockers to clean cut preppies and even one extremely proud eightysomething year old grandma. Hold on to your hat grandma, this is going be one heck of a night.
Crush Luther capture the stage first with their groovy danceable upbeat melodies. Formed in 2002 in London, Ontario with Luther Mallory on vocals, Giggi Bongard on guitar, Bodan Mulholland on bass, Brent Mills on drums and Matt Leitch on guitar. This quintet got people swaying to catchy songs like "City Girl", "Big Sky" and crowd favourite "Slowdance Anywhere". Mallory's raspy voice and the band's infectious energy and spirit while wailing through tracks were impressive for this relatively young group. They left us with a taste of what their new album, due out in June, will offer, performing the slightly edgier tune, "Golden", ending in a ripping guitar riff by Giggi Bongard.
Led by their fierce yet charismatic frontman, Doug Smart, Tacoma Redd, exploded onto the stage next with their hard hitting punk infused sound. With Chris Bell on bass, Bryan Richards on guitar and Dean Glover on drums, these guys ripped through a high energy set, with Smart slamming about the stage like visceral medieval creature. Smart's strong voice carries the tunes "When I'm not Around" and their latest "Rise UP" but it was drummer, Dean Glover, who seized the show for this girl. This dude kicks butt on drums!! Glover's hammering pulsation had hearts pounding through this stellar punk rock with a little metal (did I hear a double kick) performance. Oh yeahÖdid I mention that Glover also sings? Is there anything hotter than a singing drummer? Sizzle.
Turn Off the Stars hit the stage. This four piece consisting of brothers, Mike Walker, vocals and guitar, Andrew Walker, guitar, Jake Palahnuk, bass and Max Kennedy, drums, offered up an alternative sound to end the night. After a somewhat chaotic start, and despite a previous band having taken one of their guitars by accident; the band showed their diversity by just grabbing another and led the audience through a mystical performance. Although the crowd had dwindled somewhat, the people that endured closed in on the stage and were wooed by lush melodic songs like "Falling Into You" and "Please". Turn Off The Stars blend of guitar based melodies and beautiful poignant lyrics evoke reminiscence of Coldplay with Walder's perfect falsettos and stage bravado on par with Chris Martin. Performing "Everything is OK" for their encore was the perfect ending to an enthralling set.
Through some technical difficulties throughout the evening, Skylar Entertainment got the job done and the night still rocked.
Writer: Lisa Kerr