The night started with, of course, filling our bellies, and our choice of arena of which to do so was at To-Ne sushi. Tucked away on the massive strip of restaurants on Queen Street West, this little sushi joint pulled out all the stops to stand out among the rest. Reasonably priced giant cans of Sapporo are accompanied by Marc Anthony and Saxophone covers of Usher as we dive into amazingly orchestrated sushi platters of avocado with unagi and spicy tuna hand rolls. The meal's only fault was the lack of bonito flakes and toughness of the takoyaki we ordered, but this was saved easily by the "spicy mayo" that far exceeded the typical Kewpie and Sriracha mixture that is usually found with this dish.
Stuffed and satisfied. We head up to Bloor Street and over to Lee’s Palace to catch Dead Tired open up the show. Of course, in shitty Toronto fashion, the local hardcore act opened up to a half empty and very sleepy bar (it was 8 on a Tuesday, I know you didn't have anything important going on). This was my first time seeing Dead Tired and with Alexisonfire on George’s resume it was easy to see the comfortable stage presence along with perfectly-written sassy hardcore. Well received, the band quickly tears through songs and helps set the noisy tone for the rest of the night.
Up next were Culture Abuse who hop on to stage with a handful of problems from no equipment and breaking guitar straps to just flat out not having guitarists due to border patrol. Despite the rough start, the band stays tight and delivers an onslaught to the quickly-filling room... who, at this time, are forming a strange semi-circle in front of the stage as if there was some phantom mosh pit happening.
Moving on to the second half of the bill were Wrong from Miami Beach, Florida. Made up of ex member’s of Kylesa and Torche, the ten thousand pounds of hair that make up the band made Toronto highly anticipated. Those lucky enough for their ears to enjoy the full-on assault given out will agree on the fine debut Toronto performance that Wrong had. Imagine if Helmet kept it heavy, mixed with '90s noise rock and you will be halfway to what dangerous cocktail was being concocted on stage that night.
With the room now filled with dad hats and 501s cut off at the ankle, Nothing take the stage for some barbiturate-fuelled rock. In classic shoegaze fashion, the lights are kept low and the angst is kept high as the band plays a set that seems much more seasoned and mature when compared to the last time they came through town. Nothing keeps it loud as they play through their entire catalog of songs (the beauty of only having two full-lengths released) and even excitedly gets to hop out for an encore leaving us all with ringing but satisfied ears.
For a Tuesday Night the show is quite a success and the meal was top shelf. In whole, 10/10 type of night and as a bonus left me a list of new found knowledge about attending gigs.
01. The shittier the menus look in a sushi restaurant, the better the food will be.
02. Lee’s Palace’s staff are some of the best in the city.
03. When a shoegaze band headlines a gig, most people will dress and act like its 1997 in Glasgow.
04. People under 5’1” don’t fuck around at the merch table
05. Nothing’s merch table won’t take any of your shit.
06. People over 45 (especially around younger people) will bring up numerous times in a short period about how many years they have been coming to said club.
07. Trying to get off the benches inside Lee’s Palace is like jumping off a 12 storey building.
08. Nothing and Wrong play really loud….and it’s about that time to start wearing earplugs to gigs.