As hectic as the holiday season normally is, I was stoked to get another concert in before the year’s end. This time it was to catch a handful of homegrown bands from the Toronto area, all sharing the stage at The Mod Club. The Pick Brothers Band were the headliners, and being a big fan of their Blue Days EP, I was stoked to see some of those songs played live.
Up first that night was Toronto’s own Midnight Vesta. They served as a great opener, greeting the steadily filling floor with their tunes. I personally loved the dynamic of the band’s acoustic guitar mixed in with that signature twangy telecaster sound. I was happy to see the floor fill up in the back end of their set, just as they broke out their more upbeat, danceable songs. They’re definitely a tightly-knit group that has a good thing going for them.
Lost Cousins hit the stage after, and put a bit of a twist on the overall vibe of the night. Their music was gloomy and featured some effect-heavy guitars. There were some extremely talented musicians in the band as well, all of which played multiple instruments, including their own drummer who took lead vocal duties. From their guitarist occasionally playing a few sax bits, and their bassist sometimes switching to keys and the trumpet, it all fit the psychedelic music surprisingly well. These new instruments never overstayed their welcome, either, only being played when it fit the song, which really took away from the whole “Hey, look at me!” impression of playing multiple instruments. My one gripe with singing drummers is that it doesn’t give the audience much to look at right in front of them, but Lost Cousins’ guitarist and bassist were good showmen and were moving around as often as they could when they weren’t glued to their pedalboards or microphones. The droning music took a while for me to warm up to, and hell was it ever enjoyable.
The floor filled up quite a bit for The Pick Brothers’ set. One thing I couldn’t help but notice was just how good looking every single damn person around me was. Was I at a rock concert, or a fucking Instagram models convention? God damn. Though the crowd seemed mostly made up of casual fans, it didn’t make their set any less enjoyable. The seven-piece band which includes a 3-piece horn section looked super comfortable on the big stage and interacted with each other in a very feel-good way. Like the previous band, The Pick Brothers liked to show off their members’ multi-instrumentalism abilities, having the guitarist/lead vocalist and drummer switch places about halfway through the show. It was a seamless transition that added a moment of “Hey, that was cool,” but ultimately didn’t add much to the show aside from a new singer. They ended their set on the very fun and upbeat “Yesterday.” While I didn’t think they could close on a perfect song, they came out to play an encore, and totally proved me wrong with a ska-tinged jam that made the most of the band’s blaring horns. It definitely ended their set on a high note, and the band had a whole lot of fun while doing it.
It was a great night filled with great live music. The Pick Brothers continue to impress me with just how many people come out to their shows, especially on such a cold night. It’s well deserved, too. Since they don’t cut corners and put on a hell of a performance. I hope to catch these dudes again soon in the near future.
Written by Mathieu Perrier
Photography by Nicholas Power
*edited by Danielle Kenedy