THE DIRTY NIL at Horseshoe, Friday, February 1. Rating: NNN
Toronto often gets a bad rap for its blasé attitude at shows. As concertgoers, we'll mindlessly tap our feet, clap our hands when instructed, and if things get really wild, even rock our heads back and forth - but not too much because we don't want to be labeled as lame fan-girls or something. Knowing this, it's always refreshing to go to a show where the audience is genuinely loving the band and aren't afraid to show it. This was the case for Hamilton's the Dirty Nil, who brought their catchy indie garage rock to the high-energy masses at the Horseshoe.
The trio whipped through a short but sweet set of singles from their two recently released 7-inches, including the smashing, fuzzy and very loud ditty, Little Metal Baby Fist. They also threw in a Replacements cover and a snarling, distortion-addled rendition of Teenage Wasteland.
The band hasn't released a full record yet, but they've already rallied a supportive fan base. When lead singer and guitarist Luke Bentham dedicated a song to "his ex-girlfriends. I hate you so much," a dozen or so guys screamed along with him, arms draped around each other's shoulders, jumping with the crashing drums. If Bentham is at all heartbroken, at least he's in good company.