Making their debut headlining appearance in Toronto, the Lovehammers hammered it to a sold out crowd at Lee's Palace, leaving no doubt that frontman, Marty Casey has risen far above his runner up status of last year. Casey gained notoriety from his stint on the reality show, "RockStar INXS", where he lost out to Canada's J.D Fortune. The show propelled Casey to rock star status, who rejoined his old bandmates, cut a record deal with Epic and are now selling out concerts of their own, proving that Marty Casey is exactly where he should be.
The Rolling Machine got the night started with their unusual arrangement of two drummers and one guitarist who sings lead. One drummer seems to keep the beat as the other entertains with Blue Man type antics and adds strong back up vocals. The trio got the crowd warmed up with catchy lyrics like "two years to get over the heartache, two days to get over you".
After fifteen minutes of anticipation, the rush to centre stage begins as drummer, Bobby Kourelis, saunters over and starts hammering a beat. He's followed by his brother Dino on bass and Billy Sawilchik on guitar and the three burst into an Ultrasound intro, sending the crowd into frenzy. Cross the threshold comes Marty Casey, fully clad in rock star hipster white pants, black shirt and shades, lurching at the audience with slow, methodical movements. Casey sings "We control the video, we control the stereo÷"but he alone is in control of this crowd. As the band leads right into the rowdy energy pumped Straight As An Arrow, the melodic The Riddle and harder rockin Call Of Distress, their raw sincere enthusiasm surges.
Three songs in, Marty greets the audience with "The more energy you give, the more you'll get." The crowd, already enthralled by Casey's hypnotic charisma, raised the energy, passion and heat as Lovehammers rocked out tunes from their latest CD, Marty Casey and Lovehammers. The band offered up ripe instrumentals with scratchy grungy pure rock in songs like Tunnel, Hold On and Clinic, which all had the crowd singing along. Slowing things down slightly, with an emotional performance of the inspirational Clouds, showcased the band's diversity and Casey's vocal range.
The fueled up mixed set included powerful renditions of the Stone's Paint It Black, Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here and Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire.
By the time they played Trees, made popular by "Rockstar", it was clear that everyone wasn't there just to see Marty Casey, they were their to hear Lovehammers and the energy shot through the stratosphere. Casey, thriving off of the pure passion that filled the room invited everyone to "feel like I do, pass the energy around" and even had him comfortably enter the crowd at one point. He embraced the fans often, encouraging them to "listen to the subliminal messages in your dreams", "walk out with a good attitude" and "focus on the now."
Then returning for a surprise second encore, Marty grabbed a guitar and belted out with vigor, an acoustic version of The Killers, Mr. Brightside, a favourite of fans of "Rockstar". At this point, the vibe in the room was one of a huge frat house party and although Marty said, "You guys don't want to let us go," you got the sense that the feeling was genuinely mutual.
The unbelievable amount of musical range displays Lovehammers many years of performing experience but it is their undeniable connection to their audience that will keep people coming back.
For more information on Lovehammers visit www.lovehammers.com
Writer: Lisa Kerr