Concerts Concerts NXNE Warm-Up With The Zolas & We Are The City

NXNE Warm-Up With The Zolas & We Are The City

The Zolas at Horseshoe Tavern
The Zolas, We Are The City
Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, Ontario
June 14, 2010

Review by: Sara Harowitz
Photos by: Pete Nema

With NXNE just around the corner, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my Monday night then to check out two awesome bands from British Columbia. And while the crowd at the Horseshoe was small, both The Zolas and We Are The City put on high-energy sets that proved they were just happy to be there.

The Zolas

The Zolas hit the stage first and quickly had all the girls in the front dancing around to their beats. A progressive piano rock band (as they describe themselves on their website), The Zolas delivered a tight set that sounded equally as good, if not better, than their debut record, Tic Toc Tic. The only odd part of their set came when their bass player, Henry Alcock-White, took the lead mic to sing a few songs from his other band, Henry and the Nightcrawlers. While those songs were good, they did not quite fit in with the mood of The Zolas’ catchy and upbeat set. Still, despite claiming to be sick, Zachary Gray was great on lead vocals and guitar, as was Tom Dobrzanski on piano. The set opened with their album's first track, "You're Too Cool", and later in the set when they performed "Marlaina Kamikaze", it sounded like the entire audience was singing along.

The Zolas play a prime-time NXNE showcase this Saturday, June 19th, 10:00pm at The Gladstone. Expect an incredible performance.

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We Are The City

Next came Kelowna’s We Are The City. I have a lot of faith in this band, and not just because they won the Peak Performance Project with 100.5 The Peak radio station in Vancouver (a contest that awards a lot of money to the band they see as having the most overall potential to succeed in the music industry).

Minus a few feedback issues near the beginning, as well as drummer Andy Huculiak’s drumstick getting stuck underneath the drum set (which was more humorous than anything else), these three guys also pulled off a very tight set. Playing a bunch of favourites off of their debut, In A Quiet World, they also played some songs I hadn't heard before which makes me think the guys are going to be back in the recording studio soon (hooray!).

Cayne McKenzie was clean on piano and lead vocals, and David Menzel rocked out on guitar with the best shoulder strap I’ve ever seen (it different coloured feathers blowing all over it). All in all, both these bands pulled off great sets despite the small and relatively quiet crowd.

We Are The City play the Rancho Relaxo at 11:00 pm on Friday, June 18.

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