Concerts Concerts Sweet Thing Shows Us How to Dance

Sweet Thing Shows Us How to Dance

Sweet Thing at The Mod Club
Sweet Thing
The Mod Club in Toronto, ON
December 17, 2011

Review by: Chad Hutchings
Photos by: Pete Nema

This past Friday, a wall-to-wall crowd wore out The Mod Club dance floor as Sweet Thing took to the stage one last time for 2010. 

Donning a sparkling top hat and a tailed tuxedo jacket, lead singer Owen Carrier led Sweet Thing onstage, already showboating with unabashed poses for the dozens of flashing cameras. It was his 23rd birthday, so he had dressed for the occasion, and his bandmates decided to commemorate it in front of everyone with a gift wrapped in lined paper — a Sweet Thing t-shirt, autographed by the group.

This kind of playfulness is a side of Sweet Thing that almost always takes the forefront when the band's in the spotlight (one look at their Myspace page makes for a perfect testament). On this night, they proved that this light attitude is a perfect complement to their infectious pop-rock that had the audience letting loose from the very first song, "Over Me", a catchy number from the band's self-titled and first full-length album. Beginning misleadingly in a gentle a capella version of the classic "Tonight You Belong To Me", the song soon morphed to take on the group's own upbeat, vivacious style, and it wasn't surprising to see the audience adopt that same pep, keeping them dancing throughout the set.

This energy, combined with their onstage theatrics, made it easy for Sweet Thing to keep all eyes forward and all hands clapping, especially with the help of the Carrier's showmanship, who was at his best with executions of "Spider" and "Lazy Susan", where his antics were only trumped by his surprisingly powerful voice and the band's shining instrumentals. While he's an entertainer through and through, it could become a bit much at times, watching the front-man striking his endless, exaggerated poses a la Jarvis Cocker; one could be left wondering if it is all in jest, or if he really does take himself that seriously. Whatever his motivation might be, the fans were delighted and, whether you love his onstage presence or not, Carrier proved himself as an inarguable talent. His live vocal performance was as flawless as a mastered recording, a fact that's all the more impressive when you consider how much he was exerting himself bouncing around for the crowd.  In fact, the only time he let the pace slacken was when the group slowed for the gentler "We're On Fire", a wonderfully layered song that shows the band's ability to veer from the dance-rock that has earned them their growing success.

With their catalogue containing few tracks that break the four minute mark (most of which are penned by bassist Morgan Waters), Sweet Thing was able to cram fourteen of their trademark power-pop songs into the tight sixty minute set, even making room to cover "Don't Bring Me Down" by Electric Light Orchestra to kick off a brief encore. This crunch caused no quality versus quantity issues, though; Sweet Thing didn't disappoint, and they gave their fans everything they'd hoped for — a highly charged, highly entertaining show that kept everyone moving until the house lights came on.

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