Calgary three-piece riff-lords Woodhawk touched down in Toronto on Good Friday to spread the word of doom amongst some like-minded Torontonian music-heads. Along for the ride were Toronto’s Low Orbit, Kitchener six-piece Hawkeyes and Montreal’s Mountain Dust. Ten whole bucks got you a 45-minute set from each of the openers and an hour of Woodhawk - I doubt a better bang for the buck could be found anywhere in Toronto on this fine religious holiday.
Low Orbit, a three-piece Toronto band with a penchant for long meandering songs of doomy psychedelia opened up the proceedings tonight - filling every inch of the intimate Bovine Sex Club space with riffs and drum beats. The band has performed with Hawkeyes a few times over the past few years, and their different-yet-similar sounds go quite well together. Check out the ten minute long “Shades Of Neptune” (taken from their debut album Spacecake) Bovine performance below.
Low Orbit - Shades Of Neptune - Bovine Sex Club, Toronto - March 30th, 2018.
Hawkeyes were up next. Hawkeyes are six guys: four guitarists, one bassist, and a drummer. On the Bovine stage, it felt like they could only JUST fit on the stage together. The band has been busy writing for much of the past six months, and tonight they performed a variety of their new songs which including this one; “Look At ‘Em Scramble.” As yet unrecorded, this completely handheld footage represents its worldwide debut. Eyes closed and heads bobbed in unison as the band performed their set, with the newcomers in the room heading to the back of the venue to buy music from the band as soon as their set was complete. Another fine performance from a band that never disappoints live.
Hawkeyes - Look At 'Em Scramble - Bovine Sex Club, Toronto - March 30th, 2018.
Montreal’s Mountain Dust were up next - with fewer performers, but with the inclusion of two keyboards and a lap steel slide guitar, the stage felt equally jam-packed. While still a band I’d describe as “stoner rock”, Mountain Dust boast elements of blues and fuzz rock in their material. Some of their songs were quite lengthy, and everything they performed sounded great. They performed songs from their debut album Nine Years along with some new material from an album due out later this year. One of those songs, “Stop Screaming” appears here in entirety. This is another as yet unreleased song with likely lives here as the track’s online debut.
Mountain Dust - Stop Screaming - Bovine Sex Club, Toronto - March 30th, 2018.
At well past midnight, Woodhawk took the stage and ran through about a dozen songs to room filled with nodding heads blessed with an appropriate alcohol haze. Of all of the bands performing this evening, Woodhawk style is more uptempo - they reminded me most of The Sword. Being a three-piece, they could actually move about on the Bovine stage a bit.
Drummer Kevin Nelson was a joy to watch as he played, tossing sticks in the air multiple times during his energetic performance. I’d taken the time to watch two videos of Woodhawk before tonight’s gig, and had an idea of what their style was going to be like, but I was unprepared for how well their material came off live. Tonight marked Woodhawk’s very first time performing in Toronto - and based on audience approval this evening, they will have some repeat attendees when they come back to town.
Woodhawk - Living In the Sand - Bovine Sex Club, Toronto - March 30th, 2018.