Clark Hall Pub house band Mountain City started off then night right with a tight series of originals and covers. Highs then took the stage for a very upbeat and fun set. Hailing from Toronto (and consisting at least in part of former Queen’s students), their three-part harmonies were impressive and on point. The levels were great, allowing vocals and keys to be heard overtop of the fast-paced rhythm section.
Teenage Kicks have undergone a significant reshuffling of their line-up: gone are both guitarists off the Be On My Side EP, with Keegan Powell now on lead and frontman Peter Van Helvoort also assuming guitar duties (concerning this change up, a note on their tumblr curtly says “don’t ask…let’s pretend the last 6 months didn’t happen”).
Theirs was a concise, 10 song set that started off loud and didn’t let up. Classics like “Brooklyn Bridge”, “Middle of the Night” and “I Get What You Give” still rang true, and were warmly received by the sold-out crowd. However, apart from those three songs the set was composed entirely of new material (presumably on their upcoming debut LP). It seems as though in their crusade for rock’n’roll revival, Teenage Kicks are increasingly abandoning the catchy guitar hooks and melodies in favour of heavier riffs and a generally more aggressive style. The songs were tight and the energy was there, but I can’t help but feel they could have played to their audience better. Either way, I can’t fault them for moving forward.