For the full set of photos, click here.
House shows: low cover, cool local bands, and an after party all in one. Can you name something that sounds better? The answer is ‘no’. It’s rare to find house shows in downtown Toronto but now that I’ve been to 2, I’m glad for this. It’s a special thing. The groups of people that enjoy these shows are friends and fans of the bands but also cool enough to respect the space they are listening in. The lineups can be made up of multiple genres and yet, the audience will bop and jam to whatever is playing. The lineup was stacked with local bands on September 17, 2016; a show put together by Zoe Smith Shows, included Jackson Reed, Drunk Slug, Garbagio, and Space Case.
Jackson Reed started off the night with his solo acoustic set. Such a relaxed audience that we were all sat on the floor of the living room. You can classify his music as nostalgic folk so if you’re looking for something to reminisce in, this music is for you. He played his new single ‘Generation Vietnam’, a pop song about war? Sounds interesting right?? We thought so! A favourite of mine happened to be ‘Goodbye Endless Summer’ , the first track off of Lootbag Records ‘SUMMER FOREVER: MIXTAPE‘. His folk art voice mixed with the old-timey vibe of his acoustic guitar make for a very nostalgic sound. We can’t wait to see more of Reed in the coming months! Jackson’s debut EP ‘The November Gales‘ is dropping October 14, 2016 and you can check out his music, here.
Drunk Slug is a new band made up mostly of members who live in the house where the show happened. Someone on Facebook once described their sound as ‘screamo and country fusion‘ and honestly, I can’t agree more. It’s unique and upbeat. Always has the crowd veering for a good time. All I can really say, is that if you aren’t soaked in sweat and in need of a trip outside by the end of their set, were you really even there? The answer is probably a solid ‘no’. The four-piece band features Jonathan Stellato on keys/guitar/vocals, Gordon Whitley on lead guitar, Michael Boccongelle on drums/guitar, and Lucas Temor on bass. Keep your eye out for more of Drunk Slug and you will not be disappointed!
By this point, most of the audience had been blessed with a dinosaur sticker and were ready to mosh with Garbagio (aka James Wyatt Crosby). This five-piece band is made up of some really cool people. Their dreampop indie sound is what really gets the crowd going. Constantly playing shows, the band always has something to offer to the local indie scene. The first time I saw James Wyatt Crosby was at The Central in Toronto just as the summer started, and since then I’ve seen them play 3 or 4 times. The members are always pumped by the performers that come before or after them, putting all of their energy into every performance. The best part about Garbagio is the chemistry the members share, since many of them play together in other bands as well!
Honestly, I had never even heard of Space Case before the house show happened but now that I’ve seen them, I’m glad I got to experience their music in person. That rarely happens to me anymore but when it does, I am so happy. The night was still just beginning by the time they went on and the more people that squished into the small living room, the more it felt like a real venue. They played songs off of their recently released album Lonely (found on their bandcamp). The three-piece band is made up of Griffin Long (guitar/vocals), Alex Baigent (drums/synth), and Bryce Lowe (bass). You can catch them playing at Saving Gigi on October 8th, 2016!!!
We can’t wait for another Zoe Smith Show and neither should you! Check out Zoe’s page here to see what’s coming up and get out there to #supportyourlocalscene!!!
Review & Photos by: Blaire Norton