Reviews Concerts Rogue Wave Continues To Be Cheaper Than Therapy

Rogue Wave Continues To Be Cheaper Than Therapy

Rogue Wave at The Mod Club Rogue Wave
The Mod Club in Toronto, Ontario
February 26, 2010

Photos and Review by: Pete Nema

Ahead of the release of their new album Permalight on March 2nd, Rogue Wave kicked off their North American tour in Toronto on February 26th. With only one track ("Solitary Gun") being shared by the band prior to the album release, the crowd was largely unfamiliar with the new material.

Led by Zach Rogue (vocals, guitar), the band started out with a string of six songs from the new album, including the opener "Stars And Stripes", "Solitary Gun", and the noticeably awesome "I'll Never Leave You". The performance for the first six songs felt slightly less polished than the performance when they opened for Death Cab For Cutie in 2008; however, as soon as they launched into "Publish My Love" from the 2005 Descended Like Vultures, muscle memory kicked in and suddenly the stage was filled with passion and fluid movements. The crowd responded positively both to the familiarity of the music and the increased level of the show, with lots of smiles and light dancing, all creating a bit of a turning point in the show.

Between songs Zach made some light conversation with the crowd, but the banter was thin and a little less connected to the crowd than during the performance at the same venue in 2007. I suspect that was closely related to the fact that Toronto was the first show of the tour, and Zach just hadn't quite figured out his between song topics yet. It didn't prevent him from responding to a few of the words thrown at him from the crowd, such as when someone requested "California" and he sang a few verses a cappella before fading out to a "and so on", which made for both an intimate and amusing moment.

After a short break, the band returned for an encore and first up was an reworked slow jam version of "Cheaper Than Therapy", one of the best songs from the 2007 Asleep At Heaven's Gate album, and one of the Rogue Wave songs that is permanently burned into my synapses. It was the first time I've seen them perform that song live, and it was definitely worth waiting for. The last song of the night was the title track from the new album, Permalight. Zach declared the song "Permalight" to be more dancey than their other compositions, and to emphasize the point, he invited people up on stage to dance along to the song. At first no one took him up on the offer, but the band was only in a few notes before a couple of women climbed on stage. Those two women started a flood of fans, and by the end of the song the band was playing out the final few notes of the night on a stage packed with their Toronto fans. A strong and personal finish from one of my favourite bands of the past five years.

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