Gentlemen Husbands, The Operation M.D., San Sebastian
The Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, Ontario
December 21, 2010.
Review by: Catherine Lacbay
Photos by: Amanda Fotes
The first three Nu Music Nite showcases in December at the Horseshoe Tavern were dubbed Jingle Bell Rocks. The last one before Christmas on December 21 was a banger of a night, with a whole slew of covers, many surprise guests, and crowded venue with partying in mind.
Dwayne Gretzky is a cover band made up of members of several different bands, but it is rare when all of the bands are in town all at the same time. On this night, Dwayne Gretzky included 4/5 of the members of Sweet Thing (Tyler Kyte, Owen Carrier, Nick Rose and Morgan Waters), 1/5 of Arkells (Max Kerman) and 1/3 of Flash Lightnin’ (Rich Knox), as well as Brian Murphy, who plays with Nick Rose on his solo project. Dwayne Gretzky was also joined, at different times, by Alex Winter (Sweet Thing) and by members of San Sebastian (Greg Veerman and Mike Veerman).
This local supergroup played various covers, including songs by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen. This all added up to one badass party set that got the crowd going wild and a good crowd was dancing right up at the stage. It was a fantastic way to end the night and a great way to celebrate the holidays.
Gentlemen Husbands’ regular set generally turns out to be a party set, playing energetic Americana rock, and always attracting a good-sized fanbase. Rick Ballard’s unassuming stage presence paired with his passionate vocals is always a focus, but the band is also driven by Dan Farrell’s rhythmic skills on the kit, Jed Atkinson’s deep texturing on bass and Ryan Hutcheson’s serious riffage on guitar. They lit the stage on fire, opening up with “Family Economics” and closing out their set with their favourite cover, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ "American Girl".
The Operation M.D.
The Operation M.D. is a side project for Todd Morse (H20, Juliette and the Licks) and Jason “Cone” McCaslin (Sum 41). Their M.D. aliases are Dr. Rocco and Dr. Dynamite, respectively, and this duo plays energetic alternative/garage rock. On stage, they had a little help from John Angus Macdonald (The Trews) on guitar and Matt Brann (Avril Lavigne) on drums. Deryck Whibley (Sum 41) and Ian D’Sa (Billy Talent) also joined the party for a couple songs, making this set one chock full of surprises and fun.
San Sebastian played some of their recent hits, but also added some covers to contribute to the party atmosphere. San Sebastian is made up of two sets of brothers, the Veerman brothers (Mike Veerman on vocals and Greg Veerman on bass) and the Dawson brothers (Brodie Dawson and Sean Dawson, both on guitar), as well as Ted Paterson (drums). To end off their set, they invited their friend Max Kerman (Arkells) on stage for a little help. With their claim to fame being Much Music’s Disband, as well as a heck of a lot of touring, a great-sized crowd that arrived early to meet the band at the stage and dance along.