It may be 2019, but any creature alive or dead walking into the Corona Theatre this past Sunday the 18th definitely wished it was still the 70s as CHOM listeners and DJ’s alike from across the land gathered for a good ol’ fashion hippy fuckin’ rock n’ roll show as two of previously mentioned radio station’s HEAVILY regular rotations came through town in Rival Sons and Crown Lands. Hang fuckin loose dudes.
Cracking open what would be a relatively short but booming night was Oshawa, ON’s attempt at Rush lite in Crown Lands. Like a whole person lighter (cuz’ they’re a two-piece. I never said I was actually funny). Rocking the two-piece bit can be cumbersome at times but these cats seem to sling it with ease and big ol’ smile on their faces. If you’re asking me, which you kind of are by reading this, this particular act doesn’t fool anybody in terms of keeping the sound full and seamless without the bass section, but easily compensate by keeping things insanely entertaining. Big riffs, big fills, big guitars, and a big similarity to what could very well have been a Geddy Lee and Robert Plant love child in Drummer Cody Bowles. Vintage is the theme with this act which very much bleeds through into the presentation of their sound, guitars sound warm as a fresh-baked apple pie that Jason Biggs will likely try to fuck, but drums have a tendency to sound real dry on that classic kit. If you’re looking to listen to a pair of Rush fanatics (major tip of the hat for coming out on stage to “Closer to the Heart” by the way) crush a 70s southern rock on crack kind of style, then look no further.
Rival Sons blasted into their set with a flash of light, a tidal wave of sound, and one funky-looking backdrop (AKA the album cover for their most recent release Feral Roots). Say what you want about the fact that they dress like Jim Morrison fucked Train, this is a band that oozes pure talent in a flavour of rock n’ roll that may be easy to find these days, but not this high quality. Singer Jay Buchanan sports a voice in the ranks and ilk of Robert Plant and Brent Smith whilst swaying with the swagger of ANYONE OF YOUR FAVOURITE 70s SINGERS. Projection for days and cleanliness of an angel, all complimented with spectacular warmth and vibrancy from the surrounding band members. Much could be said about the lengthy dead air between songs, the constant chatter between band members and stage crew, or even the repeated tease of the acoustic guitar coming and going off stage without actually being used (all of which were definitely due to some technical difficulty that I was clearly not paying enough attention to), but no ill could be spoken of the performance put on by these cats or the room bouncing their sound into your ears.
Written by Jason Greenberg
Photography by Danny Donovan
*edited by Mike Milito