On a Thursday night, people packed into a (thankfully air conditioned) Fox Cabaret to celebrate not only the new album from The Matinée, but also the band's ten year anniversary. In fact, they mentioned their very first photoshoot was in that same room, back when it was the Fox Cinema and, well, let’s just say it was 19+ for very different reasons.
Unfortunately I missed the first act of the night, Emily Rowed, arriving shortly before The Wild Romantics. They played a set of mostly new, unreleased songs, I believe, starting with a sultry tune and gradually turning the energy up throughout the set. Songs like "Someone Else’s Smile" and "You’re My Whiskey" were on the sweeter side, as couple Aleisha Kalina and Evan Miller sang together, sometimes into a single mic, their chemistry off the charts. Throughout the set, things got progressively more rockin', culminating with the raucous “Fist Fight” and the fittingly titled, “Last Call” to finish off. Hopefully the new music means they have a new album coming out down the line, because I'm definitely looking forward to hearing it.
After some between-set music clearly chosen by the band, The Matinée took the stage, singer Matt Layzell, Matt Rose & Geoff Petrie on guitars, and drummer Peter Lemon joined by Georges Couling on keys and Marcus Abramzik on bass. They started off with a couple old favourite, "Sweet Water" getting the crowd to stomp, clap, and sing along -- not for the last time that night -- and one of my personal faves "L'Absinthe", before going into their new album, with the title track "Dancing On Your Grave".
They gave off a great energy, each member clearly having an absolute blast on stage (you can always tell a band member is into it when they are singing along nowhere near a microphone) and that energy definitely infected the crowd. It also helps that they're all fantastic musicians, with Matt Layzell as charismatic a frontman as you'll find. But he also knows when to melt into the back and let the spotlight shine on other members of the band; evidenced when he literally pushed Marcus front and centre.
Highlights from the set included "Figure It Out" which features Emily Rowed come back on stage for guest vocals; my favourite from the new album, "Fireworks" which builds to an appropriately explosive ending; "Show Me" which saw Geoff & the two Matts crowded around the mic to sing softly; as well as a heartfelt cover of The Hip's "Grace Too".
They brought the main set to an end with the last song from the album, “Heart Still Works” and feigning an encore break, but then Matt Rose saying the whole thing is silly and they were just going to keep going. He and Layzell then played the first song they ever wrote together, an acoustic ballad called “Red Wine and Whiskey” before ending with a bang: first the incredibly infectious “The Road” and finally -- with a little bit of Tom Petty’s “American Girl” slipped into the middle of it -- the perennial summer jam “Young & Lazy” to cap off their 10 year celebration.
And here’s to hoping for (at least) another 10 more.
Daning On Your Grave
Figure It Out
Let Her Go
Heart Still Works
Red Wine & Whiskey
Young & Lazy