Amos The Transparent
Lee's Palace, Toronto Ontario
April 17, 2010
Review by: Sean McNamara
Photos by: Amanda Fotes
It was an all Ontario line-up on this Saturday night at Lee's Palace, but really, these bands are among Canada's best!
After much anticipation, The Junction takes the stage. Brent Jackson (vocals, guitar) announces that they will be playing a lot of songs from their newest album Another Link In The Chain, to absolutely no complaints from those in attendance. Without hesitation, they rip into "Birds of Prey", the album's opening track. Matthew Jameson (bass) and Michael Taylor (drums) carry the song from its bouncy beginning all the way through to the intense, pounding conclusion.
By the time The Junction begin ripping through "Pick Your Battles", it is clear this band is very focused on delivering a very tight, high energy live performance. "To All The Believers" sees the band joined on stage with a saxophone player, who would also appear at the end of the set for the gentle, acoustic number "Hymns Of Night". It is a great touch, adding an extra dimension to the songs.
The Junction slowed things down a touch with "Miles In Denial", which begins with just Brent singing powerfully with no musical accompaniment, and "Blue Sky", which is a great song that did not make it on the latest album, but will be released digitally soon. Before the crowd realizes it, The Junction are back rocking our socks off with the catchy "Lonely Road" and dance-inducing hit "My Love Was There". And just when we thought we couldn't get much else out of the night, wham! How do you like a little Pink Floyd action? I was very surprised to hear "Breathe", but the band did a great job, showing what talented musicians they really are.
Perhaps some old-school fans were wishing they got to hear more of The Junction's older material, but the new songs are so well crafted and perfectly performed that any naysayers would quickly have their frown turned upside down.
Catch The Junction this Friday, April 23rd at Sound Academy.
Amos The Transparent
I've been hearing the buzz surrounding Amos The Transparent for a while now, and having listened to some of their recorded material before going to Lee's Palace, I was drawn to the wide range of different styles of music the band incorporated into their songs. The six-piece band from Ottawa consists of founder Jonathan Chandler (vocals, guitar), Christopher Wilson (drums), Mark Hyne (guitar, keys, vocals), James Nicol (bass, vocals), Dan Hay (guitar), and Kate Cooke (percussion, vocals).
"This Town", the title track off the bands 2009 EP My, What Big Teeth You Have... displays the musical prowess that Amos The Transparent have to offer. With multiple layered guitars, softly interwoven vocals, and a wonderfully crafted chorus, the crowd definitely senses that they are witnessing something special. "New Beginnings", a standout from 2007 debut album Everything I've Forgotten To Forget, features a swaying rhythm, a delicate piano melody, and Jonathan and Kate interchanging vocals, while the uplifting guitars drive the song to a close.
Amos The Transparent love performing live. You can see it on the expressions on their faces, as they smile at one another and dance around the stage. It's hard not to get caught up in the energy this band exhibits on stage. The sheer power of "The M.O.B. Catalogue" has the crowd swaying and bobbing in unison, and the reminiscing lyrics and explosive chorus of "The Stale Scent Of Old Beer" drive the excitement so high bassist James jumps down from the Lee's Palace stage to floor to play amongst the people in what was the pinnacle song of the set. Whether rocking out loudly, or playing some of their slower folk-influenced songs, this band pleases the many fans who came to see them tonight, and makes new ones with their amazing performance.
Make sure you catch Amos The Transparent live at Yonge and Dundas Square on May 8th.