Helping lone ranger Mike Liorti of the one-man-band Rosedale and promoter Adam Geraldi of Vendetta Management carry Rosedale’s heavy fuckin’ equipment up the high-ass, multi-levelled staircase of the La Vitrola venue was the first struggle of the night.
As I downed one or four beer beverages prior to the first band, Called Out, going on, I waited impatiently to A) interview Liorti and B) experience Liorti’s always stellar performance. The struggle was real; however, catching the adolescents of Called Out put on what will hopefully be one of many solid performances by these young, sixteen-to-eighteen-year-old, mom-and-dad-accompanied kids, I witnessed an unprecedented type of performance. That’s not to say that I have never been unfortunate enough to watch unpolished high schoolers totally bomb a talent show; however, Called Out’s performance was never one that would have been delivered at any high school talent show I’d seen. Although these boys lost points where it came to choosing to play the most typical teenage song choice (that is, Blink 182’s “All the Small Things”), their set was impressive enough to believe that maybe these dudes could be another young band that eventually hits it big.
Although the following two bands, Colonel Sun and Hometown Lights, may have put on the best set they could have, considering the size of the stage (that they both seemed to wish were bigger), believe it or not I was still so moved by Called Out’s performance, background, and story that during the two other bands’ respective sets, I felt like I’ve seen the same thing countless amounts of times by a slew of bands over the years. Without trying to sound like too much of a cock, neither of them really did anything for me as a spectator.
Perhaps it was the fact that Colonel Sun’s act was definitely a little darker, considering their heavier style of music, that rendered me not really feeling it. They seemed a little bit out of place in regards to their musical style compared to the other more pop punk-rock bands there that night. Nevertheless, they worked with what they had. They didn’t have much of a response from the audience members, yet still did their thing, had good jokes to tell regarding their mix tapes being sold at the merch tables, and still sounded tight.
After Hometown Lights rudely interrupted Cascada’s “Every Time We Touch” which was playing through the house speakers, the mini-crowd of around twenty people rushed the stage pretty promptly as the band kicked off their set. It was clear that the crowd was into their music as vocalist Simon Boudreau hopped around the minimally-sized stage, encouraging the crowd’s hand clap. Not only was it nice to see the members of the band frolic around on stage, going up to one another and showing band cohesion, it was decent how the crowd confidently sung along with them.
Toronto, Canada’s Mike Liorti of Rosedale stood on a stage that he pretty much single-handedly setup and assembled himself. With the stacks of mixing cabinets, receivers, lighting and projector screens that would display videos of him singing along to his live performance in perfect sync with what Liorti was playing on stage, it was clear, as always, how passionate he truly is about making and performing his own, crowd-pleasing music.
Kicking off his set with “What We Started,” the first song off of his newly released EP entitled Again, Liorti took over the entire stage, switching from piano to guitar to solo singing as the videos projecting behind him included footage of him drumming along to the songs playing live on stage. There were a multitude of Liortis on that stage, and they were all incredibly talented. Regardless of the few technical difficulties Rosedale experienced throughout the set, Liorti continued to sound great while things were going smoothly. He never slowed down, and I don’t think he ever will – or ever should. I can honestly say with confidence that I have never in my life experienced such a versatile artist put on such an impressive and unique performance. Although Liorti may take great pride in creating what I perceive as an original masterpiece, having his own crew there to set up and operate his incredibly elaborate setup would be entirely merited for this hardworking solo artist. It would be inaccurate to refer to this talented vocalist, instrumentalist, entertainer etc… as a triple-threat – the guy is a fuckin’ swiss army knife of musical skill.
Written by Keenan Kerr
Photography by Michael Kovacs
*edited by Kate Erickson