Capsule Review: THE ELWINS @ Rancho Relaxo (CMW 2012 – Day 5)
I’m going to hazard a guess that this review is almost redundant at this point. If you frequent the Toronto music scene and haven’t caught THE ELWINS yet, you are far behind on the times, my friend. Having just returned from a US tour and their second SXSW appearance, their at-capacity show at Rancho Relaxo on the closing night of CMW was a homecoming show of sorts.
THE ELWINS initially started as a project between frontman Matthew Sweeney and drummer Travis Stokl but quickly added members and has become much, much more. They are the definition of a charming band; I’m pretty sure no one can possibly say they dislike these guys, and on this night in particular they beamed infectiously at the crowd the entire set.
With a set full of new tracks from their sunny debut LP – And I Thank You – as well as some oldies, the crowd appeared to love them all. Their music is upbeat, folky rock with sparkling clean guitars and lots of tambourine: it makes you want to have a picnic and frolic in the sunshine.
The highlight of the set came at the end when they took crowd participation to the next level during their final number “Foxtail”. After a little bit of instruction to start things off, they soon had the entirety of Rancho simultaneously throwing up their hands in the air and yelling back lyrics: it was almost magical.
THE ELWINS are not going to stay a Toronto secret for very much longer. They still play Toronto regularly; make sure to catch them in the near future before they start extensively touring other areas.
Photos by LIZ GARERI