Concerts Concerts Dwayne Gretzky at the Horseshoe

Dwayne Gretzky at the Horseshoe

Dwayne Gretzky at Horseshoe Tavern
Dwayne Gretzky

Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, ON
January 14, 2012

Review by: Alex Zenkovich, Sara Donnelly
Photos by: Michelle Cortese

Despite our looming reservations to embrace anywhere but The Dakota Tavern as a host for Dwayne Gretzky banging out hit after hit, we're sold.

Dwayne Gretzky

Our previous reservation was that it just may have been the excellent atmosphere of The Dakota Tavern that made Dwayne Gretzky so memorable in the past. However, it seems they can successfully transform any venue (be it a grimy basement lit with Christmas lights or the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern) into a time portal to a decade we've all wished we grew up in at one time or another.

Dwayne Gretzky graced the stage last Saturday night to entertain a sold out Horseshoe Tavern packed with girls, guys, couples - the young and old, all singing as they've never sung before, to songs they knew all too well. The band's covering repertoire managed to touch upon something for everyone as they played with the authentic passion and no-holds-barred energy that could lead anybody to believe the songs were written by and made for them. We began to lose track of the endless list of hits the band covered so flawlessly (work by Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and The Beatles to name a few), yet they managed to find the perfect compilation of sweet spot oldies.

The super group seems to have an ever-changing (or ever-growing) lineup of members, including members of Sweet Thing and the Arkells. But, no matter who's grasping the mic or who's a new nightly addition, they're constantly engaging and beautifully rehearsed, and Saturday was no exception. The crowd was a swaying, off-key singing, tsunami of good vibes; it was complete with arms around the stranger to your right, outstretched hands from band members to the crowd, and fists in every direction waving to every beat of every tune. 

Seeing Dwayne Gretzky makes you set aside your judgements. There's no question if the music is good and no need to wonder if the band will be the next big thing; they make you forget you're watching a cover band and just indulge in the homage. They made us realize that walking out of the Horseshoe sweaty, dishevelled, and wanting more is exactly how we want to spend every Saturday night.

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