Concerts Concerts Zeus Delights Hometown Crowd

Zeus Delights Hometown Crowd

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Zeus at The Mod Club
Zeus
Matt Murphy, Danielle Duval
The Mod Club in Toronto, Ontario
May 27th, 2010

Review by: Jen Polk
Photos by: Julie Lavelle

Zeus has come a long way in the past year. The quartet — Mike O'Brien, Carlin Nicholson, Rob Drake, and Neil Quin — have built up enough of a fan-base to fill (very nearly) The Mod Club, a rather larger venue than the Rivoli or Dakota Tavern, both sites of several previous Toronto shows.

Zeus

After skipping out on the middle act for fear of causing permanent hearing damage, I hoped I'd be able to handle Zeus. And I could! The Mod Club was now pretty full, and I could tell from the chatter around me that there were fans old and new in the audience. At one point, a man near me asked his companion, incredulously, "Are people singing along?" And of course some of us were; we've been fans for a while.

The band performed most songs off their album, Say Us (see my review here), and their earlier EP, Sounds Like Zeus. By now, the band is more than comfortable on stage. They've just returned from touring North America with Jason Collett and Bahamas, where they no doubt impressed crowds everywhere they went. Here in Toronto, audience members unfamiliar with the group's live chops were in for a treat. For me, though, the show wasn't quite as blistering as it might have been. Perhaps the dance party happening below us which we could hear in between songs was a bit of a distraction.

I've seen Zeus perhaps half a dozen times now, and this show solidified the band's place in my mind as one of the premier rock groups around. We were treated to (by my count) 5 new songs. And it was nice to hear some different instrumentation in a couple of their compositions, including more use of acoustic guitar than I remember. But more soloing would be lovely. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next for Zeus. The future looks bright for these guys.

Catch Zeus next at the Toronto Island Show on Saturday, June 19th.

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Matt Murphy

Apologies to the band: I could not stay to see you. It was just too loud. (And, yes, I was wearing earplugs.) My whole body was shaking. Another time, Matt Murphy. Photographer Julie Lavelle toughed it out, though.

If Murphy looks familiar, perhaps you've seen him in some of his former bands: Guy Terrifico, The Super Friendz, and City Field.

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Danielle Duval

The second time I saw Zeus perform was during their Dakota Tavern residency last summer, and on that particular evening I waited in the rain for 45 minutes, entirely missing the opening act. And I'd come early just to see that opening act. On Thursday night, this same band was again in the opening slot: Danielle Duval and co. This time, I didn't miss them.

Duval was well-chosen to open for the headliner, and not just because her album was produced by Zeus' Carlin and Nicholson. Her tunes aren't flashy, but certainly pleasing enough. On Thursday night, I went in unfamiliar with the band's work, and while no songs stayed in my mind beyond the set, there seemed promise there. The band put on a strong performance, and a smiling Duval was very much at ease on stage.