LIVE! Rah Rah, Suuns, Land of Talk

by New Music Michael on September 30 2010

Land of Talk while in Toronto ( photo : Tom Purves / flickr )

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I remember it as The Rev, where I’ve seen many a band play over the years (including Cub a number of times – you know, that band I tried to make everyone else like but nobody would, I mentioned them about a week or so ago), but it’s now called the Starlite Room. It looks pretty much the same, except they’ve portioned it off into two or three different venues now, so later in the evening you could hear the music from the club next door during breaks. C’est la vie, there still isn’t a bad place in the facility to watch the stage from.

Nicole had told me beforehand that Rah Rah (from Regina Saskatchewan) were great – she didn’t lie.  They took the stage at 9:40, and were phenomenal – this three-man three-woman band journeyed through song after song, all of them loud but melodic, with perfectly placed guitar hooks and great writing throughout.  A number of the band members traversed through a variety of instruments, changing after almost every song. They definitely deserve their own post, and I promise to get to that in the next few days.  Damn, they were good.  The crowd was very appreciative, and they sold more than one CD at the merch table (including one that’s in my car now).

I had heard and was expecting good things from the next band – the Suuns from Montreal.  Some of their music I really enjoyed, it reminded me a lot of this band I used to really like that I’m sure none of you have ever heard of before, the Sons of Freedom (also Canadian – I think my good friend Clive introduced me to them). However, some of their music was also chaotic, almost experimental-psychedelic-thrash-rock.  It wasn’t really my cup of tea.  A lot of people in the audience also didn’t seem quite too sure what to do with them either, but I did talk to a couple people after the set that seemed genuinely impressed and went to the merch table to buy CD’s.  So check them out for yourself and see what you think.

Seven members of the Land of Talk finally took the stage at five minutes to midnight. It’s unfortunate they didn’t get to start earlier, as they started losing people during their set due only to the time of night. I was expecting a mellower vibe to end the night, but it wasn’t to be.  They too were phenomenal, whether they were using all seven people during a song, or when they shortened the roster to just three musicians (Lizzie Powell on drums and vocals, Joseph Yarmush on bass, and Andrew Barr on drums) for a handful of songs midway through their set. Lizzie has a beautiful voice, and it was apparent on many songs – but she also enjoyed thrashing her guitar through some heavier songs, along with, get this, three others on guitar at a couple points in the evening. At any rate, a boatload of talent with this group, go out and grab their newest CD “Cloak and Cipher” when you get a chance.

All in all, a great evening, even if I didn’t crawl into bed until sometime after 1am. Oh what we do for our love of music.

PS – Wool on Wolves is at The Haven on Friday night (with Great Bloomers and The Details) – I’ve got some silly birthday dinner to go to (mine) so probably won’t make it – but they are definitely worth checking out if you haven’t got plans yet.
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