by Michael Thomas
It had been a while since I went to a show like the one I saw Friday night at the Horseshoe Tavern. It was clear from the advertisement for the show that the bands didn’t seem to have much to do with each other—each band seemed to have their own Facebook event, and every band at the bar seemed to have their own built-in audience who could sing along with every song the band had in their repertoire.
Still, as weird as the audience participation was, the night wasn’t half-bad.
I started the night off a little late, so I only caught the last three songs by a band called Shark Week, a Toronto/Oshawa band whose Facebook page describes them as a mix of rock, hip-hop and reggae. All three of the listed genres were pretty apparent during their set.
The band’s “MC” Curtis Hayes made for a good front man—he never failed to keep the energy up through the band’s set as the rest of the guys played a standard guitar/bass/drums setup. During the last little bit, Hayes brought a couple of fans close the mic and the three of them sang the song’s chorus. Shark Week even gave out free hard copies of their EP to the audience, which was cool of them.
Following them was The Sole Pursuit, a band out Brampton, Ontario. After a soundcheck that seemed to involve several things going wrong, the band got off to a good start. It didn’t take too long for them to get into a groove, and the audience (though filled with their own fans) seemed to enjoy it quite a lot. I certainly caught myself moving a little bit to their music—a band with standard instruments that can create a groove are always fine in my books.
The last band I ended up seeing that night was The Good Fridays, a Burlington/Hamilton five-piece act. They were even quicker to get into a groove, and while there was virtually no one standing near the stage when they started, it didn’t take long for them to draw a crowd.
I was particularly excited by their keys player—while he wasn’t audible for the first couple of songs, later tunes had the keys as a stronger player in the melody, and it added a nice extra dimension to their music.
Two long days in a row had me retire early, but from what I did see, the show proved that there is music happening in the suburbs that is worth listening to.