Concerts Concerts Matt Mays at The Phoenix

Matt Mays at The Phoenix

Matt Mays
Matt Mays
The Meds
Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto, ON
November 2, 2012

Review by: Laura Eley

Indie folk rocker Matt Mays visits the The Phoenix in support of his latest effort, Coyote.

Matt Mays

Matt Mays and his five-piece band arrived with lit coyote-skulled mic stands and an over-boiling energy due, no doubt, to their previous weeks of touring. Appearing as the zealous, scarecrow-hat wearing, indie folk/country musician that he is, Mays kicked us off right into their new album, Coyote, and it's arguably biggest hit "Take It On Faith". With the crowd's solid mix of young and old, the heady drums and guitar solos got us moving, even jumping, along with the sometimes overpowered vocals.

In fact, this overpowered theme didn't go away throughout their entire show. The medley of three guitars, a bass, a keyboardist, and a drummer, worked to both the band's advantage and disadvantage, shining in times of heavy tunes, and becoming overbearing in the softer moments. Mays himself took the stage for a couple highlighted acoustic moments that best displayed his gifts as a musician. Other, softer songs like "Never Saw It Comin" and "Spoonful of Sugar" worked well to lead up to the show's ending climax that included the classic "City of Lakes".

Their closing offering, "On the Hood" perfectly exhibited the brotherly love shared between the band members, and to be honest, looked like a ton of fun. But an overarching feeling moved beyond the camaraderie, and suggested that Mays, and Mays alone, bring the unique oomph that forces the band beyond the small stages of Cole Harbour's pubs. Cohesively, the group creates your typical Canadian college rock that has its place and audience. But if you're looking for more depth, the focus must be tightened on Mays, which isn't always easy beneath the surrounding noise.

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The Meds

Like most Friday openers at the Phoenix Concert Theatre, Charlottetown's The Meds played to an eager audience filled with a collective TGIF relief and tons of breathing room. Setting the stage for East coast darling Matt Mays, the four piece band played an extended set, headed by Kyle Drake, a Rob Thomas-sounding alternative rocker. It was enjoyable, standard fare, and while they supplied an admirably intense onstage presence, by their final songs, that unpleasant itch to change the station was strong.

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