Concerts Concerts Commandeering Attention

Commandeering Attention

Commandeers at The Dakota Tavern
Flash Lightnin'
Commandeers
The Dakota Tavern in Toronto, ON
February 2nd, 2011

Review and Photos by: Courtney Lee Yip

The Dakota Tavern is one of those tried, tested and true venues where even if you’re not completely up for going out, there will be some element of the basement bar that eventually picks you right up.

Suddenly you’re ordering too many shots of whiskey and dancing horribly in every direction at once. It really is a beautiful thing. However, there comes a time when you’ve been to see The Beauties ten Sundays in a row and the once comforting glow of the white light can begin to feel suffocating.

Commandeers

It took a band called the Commandeers to snap me out of my claustrophobia and make me realize I should start stumbling into the lower level of 249 Ossington on other nights of the week than Sunday. Brothers, Ezra Jesionka (lead guitar) and Nathan Jesionka (vocals, guitar), alongside old friends Cale Eliott-Armstrong (drums) and Scott Hannigan (bass, vocals) make up the 70’s rock and rollin’ sound that are the Commandeers. Excited fans and friends exchanged comparisons to other bands such as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Strokes. Two pretty different sounds, but that in itself does help describe the range of influence they appear to have.

The Commandeers played an incredibly tight set that was worthy of a packed dance floor, but it seemed as if the crowd didn’t find their liquid courage until about halfway through headliners, Flash Lightnin'. Maybe we were too mesmerized on how Nathan managed to unbutton his shirt by the end of the second song by seemingly-but-probably-not using the back of his guitar. It was all too fitting for their last song to be an Iggy Pop cover, which all four members pulled off with amazing ease.

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Flash Lightnin'

If The Beauties hold one hand of the Dakota, Flash Lightnin' holds the other. You aren't really a regular patron unless you can dig either one of these acts. That being said, the set which followed was as every bit as predictable as it was one hell of a great time. Almost every review of Flash Lightnin' mentions the praise Darren Glover (vocals, guitar), Darcy Yates (bass, vocals) and Christopher Henry (drums) receive from Toronto's Broken Social Scene, Metric, Billy Talent, et al. Well, it makes sense seeing as Jimmy Shaw produced their first full-length and they co-wrote with Ian D'Sa. Even Kevin Drew, fresh from announcing the Juno nominees earlier that day, fanned out quietly behind the barrage of hair-whipping, Guiness soaked dancers. These guys are certainly in (well deserved) good company.

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