Show Reviews

Show: 10.22.99  Toronto, ON
Review By:  Lindsay (the webmaster)

Despite the drop off of thrush hermit from the bill, this show managed to live up to all "rock" expectations and then some.  The Flashing Lights and Local Rabbits came out and rocked the Opera House down and left many the onlooker in awe (myself included).

The opening band, So-Ho Kitchen, were alright.  They "warmed" up the audience with their "days of the new meets wide mouth mason" sound.  It was probably a pretty big show for them to be playing (I'm guessing) so they did an alright job.  They dedicated a song to all the snow boarders in the crowd which was different.  Unfortunately, they didn't play any of the Thrush Hermit songs that I was yelling out as requests.

After So-Ho, Local Rabbits took the stage.  This was my first time seeing the Local Rabbits live (although I am familiar with their music) and they were certainly impressive and deserving of all possible accolades.  They were incredibly energetic and enthusiastic from the moment they graced the stage and they easily got the audience involved in all the rock action.
During hit tracks like "(Sally Ann's) Style Denial" and "Stomp Your British Knights Down", it was impossible to find anyone in the Opera House who wasn't chanting and singing along.  The energy was amazing, unlike anything i've ever experienced at a rock show.  As well as playing some songs off of their two full-length albums (notable tracks "Our Life" and "Highschool Hierarchy"), The Rabbits also played new tracks from an album to be released for the summer.

Next on stage were Toronto's Flashing Lights.  They started off with their Intro and headed right into "Highschool".  Various crowd members were singing along to the Lights' new single and enjoying their rockin' live rendition of the song.  The Flashing Lights played a great set and performed all their toe-tapping tracks from the album as well as two "new" tracks familiar to the Frontman War Repeats known as "It's Alright" and "The Same Thing Twice" (or at least that's what I refer to them as).  The audience was
not only chanting "Flashing Lights! Flashing Lights!" (which, by the way, sounded remarkably like "Vanna White! Vanna White!") but also "It's Alright!" and "You Do The Same Thing Twice."  The Flashing Lights always amaze me with their way to gain audience interaction and who could not interact with such toe-tappin' melodies.  Also impressive was the freak out tambourine playing by Gaven Dianda of The Lights and the kicks and twists of frontman (and guitar hero) Matt Murphy.  I have seen The Flashing Lights be
much more tight and energetic than at this show, but they were still very good and enjoyable.

The finale of the evening was one that will certainly not be forgotten by all those in attendance for a long time.  The Flashing Lights were summoned back on stage for an encore and after playing "Gone Are The Good Times" they kicked into "Flashing Lights" by Screamin' Lord Sutch.  Matt called for Pete Elkas (of Local Rabbits Fame) to join the Lights on stage and he did, with some cheering from the audience, and brought the rest of The Rabbits with him.  With the Rabbits and Flashing Lights screaming "Flashing Lights!" it was understandable as to why the audience was going crazy.  Ben Gunning (LR) and Matt Murphy (FL) then had a guitar duel which again got the audience begging for more.  After lots of rockin', crazy chanting and the disrobing of shirts (?!), the song ended in a mess of beer and tambourine parts.  The lights went down, the bands exited the stage and all fans went home
completely rocked and satisfied.

It was quite the show.  And for those of you keeping track, the war that night was won hands down by The Local Rabbits.  But all of us who were rocked that night at the Opera House were the real winners.

Only one word can encapsulate the rock and roll majestry demonstrated on the stage: BOOYA!