Concerts Concerts The Gang's All Here: You, Me, Baxter and Phil

The Gang's All Here: You, Me, Baxter and Phil

You, Me, Baxter & Phil at Revival
You, Me, Baxter & Phil

Revival Toronto, ON
Thursday August 4th, 2011

Review by: Katie Christensen
Photos by: Julie Lavelle

I have been meaning to check out this new local band for ages for a couple of reasons. The first and foremost being that Matthew Baxter and myself go way back to the days of "keggers" and all night study sessions at the grand old University of Western Ontario. Yes friends, we attended the party capital of Canada (don't judge).

You, Me, Baxter & Phil

One of my highlights in my resident days was not mastering the Keg stand, but instead when Baxter learned to play my all time favorite song on the guitar, "Classical Gas", which is no easy feat as Mason Williams and later Eric Clapton are both pretty skilled on the guitar. Fast forward a few years (I won't say how many), Baxter (guitar, lead vocals), Sarah Rose Black (keyboard, vocals), Andrew Acenzo (drums, backup vocals) and Phil Mardimae (bass) now have a handful of original songs under their belt and an EP to boot.

Formed in 2009 by lifelong friends Matthew and Andrew who had been playing covers together for as long as they can remember and influenced by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles, this new band has already had the privilege of playing such pristine festivals like the New Orleans Jazz Heritage Festival where they opened for world-class opera singer Ben Happner. Their sound is eclectic and upbeat, and when Andrew busts out the Cello, which he is completing his masters for, their musical prowess is hard to deny. Matthews voice is very strong and with his backing the band created wonderful harmonies. It's hard not to tap, clap and sing along.

Classically trained on guitar but opting for the bass, Phil, as well as Sarah Rose, also studied music at University of Toronto. Sarah Rose although seemingly sweet on the keyboard is easily one of the toughest members of the group. She was dressed in a tight black dress stitched up the back with bright red ribbon. They played a number of originals that were a mix of rock, jazz, folk and classical. Fan favorites were "People Laugh" and "One Stranger Night", the latter being about something we can all relate too (except for me of course); the one night-stand.

Although their originals were fantastic their renditions of The Temptations' "Pappa Was a Rolling Stone" and Pink Floyd's "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" were equally as impressive. They even busted into some upbeat renditions of Beethoven and Mozart showing off their classical training with a rocking twist.

Make sure to check out this local band on the verge.

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