Rancho Relaxo regulars will likely be familiar with Thursday, Thursday, the excellent show series put on by GreenShades Promotions. The fine young men at GreenShades have been killing these shows for some time now, so a partnership between them and TWM just made sense for this year’s CMW Thursday show. Spending most of my Thursday evening out also made sense, so that’s what I did. As a bonus, many cute boys were involved.
I started off the night at Rancho with a new-to-me band, Filligar. This Chicago band was added to the showcase at the 11th hour so I didn’t have time to check them out beforehand, but they started things off very energetically. They reminded me a lot of Springsteen when he plays with the E Street Band, and I liked the prominent keys. They had a good audience around the front for the set, considering their late addition and the early hour.
Parks & Rec played their return show, after the sad and sudden death of band member Cristina Tarboda, at last year’s CMW, so it was great to have them back at Rancho again. They’ve been working on some new material and it sounded great live — high energy, catchy without being overly simple. It was nice to see them having a ton of fun playing, and with a crowd out to catch them. Looking forward to what comes up for them this year.
I took a little Rancho break to head over to the Silver Dollar to catch Last Year’s Men, a band that played several showcases at the venue this year. Last Year’s Men are from North Carolina, and they definitely had a hint of Southern rock in their garage rock, which I liked. I was kind of surprised at the thin crowd at the Dollar, though the people in attendance did seem into it. Perhaps it picked up for the sets the band played further into the fest?
Apparently I missed one band member drinking beer straight from the tap (I do not recommend doing that at the Dollar’s taps…) when I went to the other room to find friends, which is unfortunate.
But unquestionably, the highlight of my Thursday was heading back to Rancho to see Honheehonhee, who have quickly become one of my favourite Canadian bands. I even stayed up past my bedtime! They put on a great set as usual, tight but with that feeling that it could all go haywire at any moment. I love that kind of energy. They also charmed the crowd — can they help it, they’re from Montreal? It was really great to see people singing along to their songs when their first Toronto show — at Rancho, I should point out — was just a few months ago. I think big things are in store for these guys.
I also think that they have excellent facial hair. Maybe beards are too mainstream now that Mulcair has won NDP leadership, but I’m a fan for life!