Concert Review: SEAS, THE DARCYS, BEAR HANDS, DINOSAUR BONES (The Horseshoe Tavern – 2011-05-14)
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I’ve been to the Horseshoe Tavern many times, but this show was a new experience that couldn’t compare with any other show I’ve been to in recent memory.
Somewhat reminiscent of early nineties grunge tunes, Seas – the new project from Chris “Hippy” Hughes of .Moneen. fame – set the tone for the night and gave us a glimpse into the rockin’ night ahead. Beginning on a soft tone and then releasing their energy like a heavy sound explosion, they managed to captivate the audience at hand right from the first song. With their experimental abilities, they shifted back and forth between both of these hard and soft moments (sometimes even within songs) giving this three-piece band an intriguing sound and very interesting live dynamic – definitely worth your time checking them out online, or maybe even at their next show?
Next up, Toronto rock quartet The Darcys emerged slowly through a soft onstage light…. except for drummer Wes – he, unfortunately, was drenched in the background’s darkness throughout the performance; I guess he’s just too mysterious for us to handle! How do I even describe what this band creates – there is actually something magical that happens when Mike and Jason sing, but especially so when they sing together. I’m pretty sure it’s so powerful that it can cause your body to levitate off the floor. The concentration in all of their faces when they perform is remarkable, as if they are the only ones in the room – and yet, they come together to create this truly romanticized feeling. P.S. Wes should never lose the stash – EPIC
Midway through between-set camera adjustments I looked up just in time to see Brooklyn NYC’s Bear Hands hit the stage – and the audience – with the sound of psychedelic funk! The band has this ability to create a killer bass/drums rhythmic ensemble, and lead singer Dylan’s vocals are electric. This personality really shows itself in their music, as guitarist/keyboardist Ted and bassist Val have this hopping groove that you could see pass over the crowd, and it got everyone in the Horseshoe Tavern moving to their energy. Hopefully this band from south of the border will visit Toronto again soon and psych us up again and again.
By the time headliner Dinosaur Bones got up on stage the crowd was ready to be awed by the beauty of lead singer Ben Fox’s voice. The Toronto boys have this chill groove that really helps their vocal and instrumental sections sound so harmonious together. A few songs in and the band had already started to create this steadily built-up wall of sound – and bassist Branko Scekic was already moving everywhere like an unstable electron. Another couple songs later and they were all moving around in synergy … amazing. The audience clearly craved this band, and by the end of the set the place erupted into encores until Dino Bones had no choice but to come back on stage and rock some more. This is a band for you to close your eyes and listen to while twirling your hands above your head: their sound is intoxicating.
Each of these four bands had an amazing, tight-knit sound that left you tingling afterward – and the crowd continued to grow in number until the end of the night. There were tons of people huddled up close to the stage, and many of the girls claimed the front to get the full experience of the talent before them. In fact, it was so packed that you could feel the heat of everyone around you and the vibrations of sweet sound could easily travel from person-to-person from one end of the room to the other. This killer lineup rocked the stage and my brain reverberated tunes all the way into my dreams. It is truly amazing to be around and listen to such talented musicians whose music can hit home the same way all the classics do.