Lee's Palace in Toronto, ON
February 1st, 2014
Review by: Chad Hutchings
Photos by: Julie Lavelle
To welcome their fresh new release Fast Motions, The Balconies kicked the ass of a sold-out hometown crowd at Lee's Palace last week.
Despite the fact that this appearance was celebrating the new album's official release, plenty of big fans in that crowd found it pretty easy to sing along, and not just because they'd been listening to the tracks feverishly since it hit the shelves less than a week prior. With the album originally aimed for an autumn 2013 release, lots of those songs have made their way to the band's set-lists for a good long time. Don't worry, that isn't a complaint. The work on Fast Motions is a loyal growth from their 2012 EP - a set of 10 mature, smarter tracks that never betray the sexy, gritty rock that The Balconies have been using to win us over since they came together.
Of course, even if most (if not all) of those tracks hadn't made their way to the stage before Saturday, it's a safe bet that they would have been used awfully adeptly to knock the audience off their feet at the show. Over the years, I've had the luck to see this act on stage more than a fistful of times in a few different incarnations, and every appearance was a stronger study of everything that should be making the cover of a golden-age Rolling Stones magazine. With Jacquie O'Neville at the helm mixing those solid vocals with the signature lunging and thrusting that made a few heads explode at the front of the stage, the recently-fortified 4-piece (see also: the flooring talents of Liam Jaeger, Stephen Neville, and Steve Molella) did justice to all of our favourite facets of rock and roll that confused our parents' parents, And though it can be tricky to mention the term 'hair metal' these days without irony, The Balconies have reclaimed that sound with full strength and worked it seamlessly into bold indie rock, even into the sexiest of tracks "The Slo" and the album's title track, "Fast Motions" (tracks that are even sexier live than on the LP). Hell, this is a band that even managed to make a Lady Gaga cover worth hearing that night, so it's easy to guess that The Balconies' set at Lee's Palace is just the one of many, many sold out shows on their horizon.