The Trews @ Vogue -- 03/03/12

Since I first saw them, The Trews have been one of my favourite live bands. Since then I've seen them several times, both acoustic and electric, and they have a raw energy that is matched by few, and always put on a show well worth seeing.

Opening the night was Ontario's Poor Young Things, who were pretty much a straight ahead rock band. With three guitarists driving their sound, they played a short but sweet set, and though they only have one EP under their collective belts, this year's Let It Sleep, they meshed together like a band that has been at it for years.
They were joined by Trews keyboardist Jeff Heisholt for a couple songs, and they brought it to an end with the aptly named "Fire", which was my favourite of the set, building to an explosive ending. Some of the songs were a bit similar, and they're certainly not trying to reinvent the genre, but they had a really good energy and they definitely knew how to rock out. A solid band to open for the night.

(side note: I did not get the chance to ask them if their name is form the Peter Elkas/Joel Plaskett song, so I'll just keep assuming it is)

Then as bagpipes filled the air, The Trews hit the stage, in front of a projection screen, kicking things off with "Misery Loves Company" from the new album, Hope & Ruin. They then ramped up the energy with "Not Ready To Go" -- with a little bit of Humble Pie's "30 Days In The Hole" slipped in -- getting everyone up to the stage and not letting their foot off the gas for the next hour and a half.
As usual, they had an amazing raw energy, especially from lead singer Colin MacDonald, going back and forth across the stage, urging everyone to sing along and once even getting his guitar right down into the front for so people could strum.
Among the highlights of the set were the raucous drinking song "Can't Stop Laughing"; one of my favourites, and a great singalong song, "Poor Ol' Broken Hearted Me"; and "Yearning", which featured an incredible extended guitar solo from John-Angus MacDonald, the other members ducking off stage, leaving him to shine. Drummer Sean Dalton also had a spotlight moment later on, with a breathtaking drum clinic before the last song of the main set, "Hold Me In Your Arms"
Colin came back out for the encore alone, starting one of my favourites of theirs, the heartbreaking "Ishmael & Maggie" before the band slowly joined him for a giant singalong. And they wrapped up with another personal favourite, the incendiary "Every Inambition" from their first album, House of Ill Fame, ending the show in an intense way, with every member going nuts.

It was another great show from the band, and even though I have seen them a number of times, I don't think I'll ever tire of their live show.

Misery Loves Company, Not Ready To Go (with 30 Days In The Hole [Humble Pie cover]), So She's Leaving, Can't Stop Laughing, Paranoid Freak, Sing Your Heart Out, I'll Find Someone Who Will, Yearning, Highway of Heroes, Hope and Ruin, One By One, Tired of Waiting, The Love You Save [The Jackson 5 cover], Fleeting Trust, Gun Control, If You Wanna Start Again, Poor Ol' Broken Hearted Me, Hole Me In Your Arms.
(encore) Ishmael & Maggie, The World I Know, Every Inambition.