Anyone who says that rock ‘n’ roll is dead truly needed to have their asses at the Danforth Music Hall last Friday, April 19th! What an epic “rock” show!
Oshawa’s Crown Lands wound up doing the opening proceedings for Rival Sons at a show that sold out quickly enough that I’m sure there must have been some talk of moving the evening to a larger venue. Fortunately for fans, this didn’t happen, and Toronto got treated to a magical evening of anthemic rock ‘n’ roll from two groups with their fingers firmly planted on the pulse of modern rock.
After filling the darkened venue with the sweet sounds of Rush’s “Closer To The Heart,” drummer/vocalist Cody Bowles and guitarist Kevin Comeau took the stage and worked their way through a half hour of original Crown Lands material. Road testing a couple of new songs along with some of their more popular older tracks, Bowles and Comeau had no trouble whatsoever blowing people’s minds as they delivered their rock n’ roll payload to more than a few surprised ears in the crowd.
Bowles’s vocals and Comeau's guitar playing style certainly owe a debt of gratitude to Rush, but their music also touches on sound elements found in popular acts like The Black Keys, White Stripes, and Royal Blood. Fame and fortune lie just around the corner for these two fellows so get yourself into a venue they are playing at and see some musical magic.
This one rocks hard! Check out Crown Lands’ music video for “Mountain!”
Supporting their newest album, Feral Roots, Jay Buchanan, Scott Holiday, Michael Miley, Dave Beste, and Todd Ögren of Rival Sons strode on stage and launched into “Back in the Woods,” and “Sugar on the Bone,” before stepping back into “Pressure and Time” and “Electric Man.” Jay Buchanan sang Toronto’s praises numerous times this evening, adding in that the band have felt welcomed when playing the city from their very first show here. Buchanan then thanked the crowd for keeping their album at the top of the local rock ‘n’ roll charts for seventeen weeks and stressed that this was “all you’re doing” to the audience.
We also got to hear live versions of “Too Bad,” “Feral Roots,” “End of Forever,” “Do Your Worst,” “All Directions,” and “Shooting Stars,” taking the total tally of Feral Roots songs debuted live in Toronto to eight. While some bands at the half dozen studio release mark would have a hard time performing so many new songs in their live sets, Rival Sons easily embraced the challenge.
They have been putting out albums that continue to better their predecessors with every new release for a decade now. Feral Roots is as strong of a record as anything Rival Sons have done in the past, and I found myself yearning for the other three songs on that album that were not performed live on this wonderful night.
The bottom line: an epic evening. I’m already counting the days until I get to see both of these bands live again.
It’s “Too Bad” but you’ll likely adore this just released new music video from Rival Sons.
Rival Sons’ Toronto Setlist:
01. Back in the Woods
02. Sugar on the Bone
03. Pressure and Time
04. Electric Man
05. Too Bad
07. Face of Light/Sacred Tongue
08. Feral Roots
10. Open My Eyes
11. End of Forever
12. Do Your Worst Encore:
13. All Directions
14. Shooting Stars
15. Keep On Swinging
Feral Roots was released on January 25th, 2019, through Low Country Sound/Atlantic.