Concerts Concerts The Curse of The Meligrove Band Ends with Fans and Friends

The Curse of The Meligrove Band Ends with Fans and Friends

Meligrove Band at Horseshoe Tavern
Meligrove Band
Sandman Viper Command
Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, ON
January 13th 2011

Review by: Katie Christensen
Photos by: Pete Nema

Heavily in debt, left with a busted van, and even having to end their US tour early still hasn't stopped the Meligrove Band. Instead, when life gives you lemons, throw a damn good party at the Horseshoe Tavern with the help of Sandman Viper Command and The Order of Good Cheer!

Meligrove Band

Anyone who is familiar with the Meligrove Band knows of their misfortune. Maybe it’s a case of too many broken mirrors, black cats and voodoo dolls; whatever the reason the result has been a tumultuous past few years for this local band. It seems their luck tapped out a mere three days before from their big break (and payoff) when their record label V2 went under in 2007 canceling the US release of their critically acclaimed album Planets Conspire. Since then, the band has pooled together their shekels and honed their skills releasing their much anticipated Shimmering Lights in late 2010. It was recorded mostly out of their homes to save money while also allowing them to experiment with sound production. (The results rock!). The recording is being heralded as immediately-pleasing, tightly packed and extremely hooky. Congrats boys, you have another gem.

Having to finance most of their own endeavors has made the music making experience a tough one for the Meligrove guys, consisting of Jason Nunes (vocals, guitar, piano), Darcy Rego (drums, vocals), Michael Small (bass), and Brian O’Reilly (guitar, synth). You’re probably thinking, “That was years ago, surely their luck has changed.” Well, not entirely. In November during their record release party/homecoming, the hype for the show was palpable. Fans and friends had waited four years for their new album and couldn’t wait to hear it live. Sadly, Jay’s voice was out of commission. But never letting anything get them down, they called upon their musically inclined peers like Allie Hughes, Cuff The Duke’s Wayne Petti, and Justice McLellan from Ruby Coast to help them rock The Great Hall.

After that show we bade them adieu and wished them luck on a long and ambitious U.S. tour in support of their latest record. Hopes were high to say the least. Little did they know, only four days into the tour their bus would die leaving them stranded in Orlando (or as Darcy lovingly refers to as Cracktown, USA) for five nights. Not only did this force them to cancel the rest of their dates, but also cost them a pretty penny. They just can’t catch a break; a police officer was even murdered in their hotel parking lot one night!

The solution was a Bus Fail Relief Party held at the historic Horseshoe Tavern on January 13th to raise some much-needed dough by partying with fans and friends. There were no operators sitting idly by to take donations, or baskets passed through the crowd. Actually there wasn’t much mentioned about the fact that the show was a benefit concert at all. Instead, they did what they do best by playing a wicked amped up set of all of our favorite ditties along some wicked covers, keeping the mood light with plenty of good vibes. They dedicated “This Work” from their latest album to the band's collective girlfriend Sook Yin Lee while showing off other newbies like “Bones Attack!!!” and “Halflight”. I hope that the ticket proceeds helped put a dent in the debt, boys!

Support this local staple in the Toronto music scene by purchasing Shimmering Lights as it’s an epic album with an experimental pop sound paired with sonic grittiness and marks another step in this band's continual evolution.

Meligrove Band at Horseshoe Tavern   Meligrove Band at Horseshoe Tavern   Meligrove Band at Horseshoe Tavern   Meligrove Band at Horseshoe Tavern   Meligrove Band at Horseshoe Tavern   Meligrove Band at Horseshoe Tavern   Meligrove Band at Horseshoe Tavern  

Sandman Viper Command

The first thing that I noticed when the band with a tongue twister for a name, Sandman Viper Command, took to the stage was how young they looked. Not like, middle school young but youthful for sure (average age of the band is 21). With only one album, Everybody See This, under their belt these friends from Burlington (Rob Janson, Aaron Harvey, Dan Reardon, Matt Meyer) are new to the music scene but clearly a positive addition.  They describe their sound as a blend of garage pop/guitar fuzz rock influenced by Pavement and Sonic Youth. Young as they may be they put on a great live show with their raw and frantic stage presence paired with their catchy songs like “Oh Yeah, It’s Fusion” and “Strawberry Quick”. I hope to see and hear more from these guys in 2011.

Sandman Viper Command at Horseshoe Tavern   Sandman Viper Command at Horseshoe Tavern   Sandman Viper Command at Horseshoe Tavern   Sandman Viper Command at Horseshoe Tavern   Sandman Viper Command at Horseshoe Tavern   Sandman Viper Command at Horseshoe Tavern   Sandman Viper Command at Horseshoe Tavern