SAVES THE DAY with MONEEN and CIRCA SURVIVE at Kool Haus, April 30. Tickets: $23. Attendance: 1,400. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
One thing was made embarrassingly clear last Friday: never play with an opening band that can blow you out of the water like Moneen . As lead singer/guitarist Kenny Bridges and fellow axemen Chris and Erik Hughes bounced around like they'd all just done a pound of blow, Moneen energetically proved why they're as popular as they are. And by the time Brampton's finest, the second of three bands slated at Kool Haus , finished their set, the show was as good as over.
Every song dropped like a fan favourite. The material covered the bands' three albums, including a fantastic rock-out on The Passing Of America when Bridges managed to divide the crowd into a camp-style sing-along. These guys get better every time out.
And that's precisely why any sane band would be loath to follow them. Unfortunately, New Jersey emo poster boys Saves the Day are perhaps unaware that, comparatively speaking, they're about as exciting as, say, watching a book. That's right - not reading a book, but watching it.
The audience seemed to know it right away, too; many beelined for the exit. Yeah, Saves the Day can sell records and all that, but, wow, between main dude Chris Conley acting like the audience wasn't there, his lifeless, by-the-numbers playing and the fact that the crowd didn't even bother applauding after a few songs, it was obvious who the night's winners were. And um, if your drummer is the most interesting member to watch live, it may be time to revamp.
Night openers the newish buzz band Circa Survive seemed intent on making a name for themselves, kicking things off as the kids were still streaming in. With only one album to show off, they crashed and swayed through a powerful mix of anthemic post-punk while singer Anthony Green showed off one of the best sets of pipes in the scene. Sounding like a deeply wounded Geddy Lee, he floated around the stage like an attention magnet as the rest of the band did their best to match his showmanship.
For sheer entertainment value, these guys are well on their way.
As for all-ages shows, what a different world it is compared to your average 19-plus concert where people care more about getting their drunk on than about the bands they've paid to see.
It sure is a nice change to hang with the kids who just wanna rock.
And rock they did.