YOUNG RIVAL at Yonge-Dundas Square, Friday, August 17. Rating: NNN
The latest edition of Indie Fridays - Virgin Mobile's free weekly summer concert series at Yonge-Dundas Square - featured Hamilton rockers Young Rival, who first got our attention back in the early 2000s under their old name, the Ride Theory. Since switching their name in 2007, signing with Sonic -Unyon and shedding one member, the three-piece have earned a solid rep for their radio-friendly blend of loud, bluesy rock 'n' roll.
The band took a few songs to find their groove on the large Y&D stage, and the large, eclectic crowd - consisting of fans, tourists and curious passersby - seemed to respond better to their fuzzy 60s garage fare than to their more straight-ahead bored-vocalist indie rock. (Think later Stills or early Strokes.)
They could have offered more visual dynamics to match the energy of their crunchy power chords, but the band still managed to entertain with their high-octane cover of Nothin' by 60s Toronto band the Ugly Ducklings. Watch for Young Rival's new record, Stay Young, to drop on Sonic Unyon in October.