Well, this is more like it. Now I know why we spent 60 bucks of our not very hard earned cash… to actually see some goddam live music!
It was a truly excellent evening, kicked off in super-geeky style by Carlo Meriano of ‘Toys Are Just’ at Rancho Relaxo. In fact, his performance might be a tough one to top for the remainder of this festival, such was the childlike wonder he instilled in his audience, by his joyous manipulation of a toy guitar that looked like it set him back all of a dollar forty-nine from the local Value Mart. “I wrote these songs when I was 5 and have been waiting for puberty to kick in to play them to you all” he quipped with glee at one point.
But he made us wait for these fun and games by consigning play-time to his grand finale. The majority of his set consisted of some quaintly quirky tracks played out on a regular guitar (yeah, I know, how lame is that? ANYONE can play songs on a real guitar…), which had the crowd chuckling along to lyrics about such heavy matters as putting marshmallows in the microwave to watch them expand. But we’d done our research on myspace; we knew what was coming. Things got a teeny bit more mental when he whipped out his ukulele and then went downright berserk when he began rapping off to the dance beats of his favourite toy instrument. It was utterly silly, of course, but it was a sensational performance. I’m telling you, he scaled some epic heights with that toy. When you witness someone mimicking Eminem whilst babbling like some extra-terrestrial from an episode of the Twilight Zone you know this really is one of those “once in a lifetime” type moments. I was so hyper I felt like I’d had one too many Fruit Pastille ice lollies! At the end we felt compelled to buy his CD for a measly 5 bucks, which probably covers the cost of his instruments with cash to spare. Yep, we lucky adults all learnt a valuable lesson that night; toys are not only just, Toys R 4 Us. Fun for all ages.
When this child’s play finished we shot down Spadina to The Horseshoe Tavern for the dance-stimulating electro-punk of Green Go. Unlike the arsy staff of Lee’s Palace the previous night, the friendly folks at the Horseshoe welcomed us in with a smile and a big thumbs up when we tentatively bared our wristbands, and even gave us a token to claim a free bottle of Molson’s Canadian! What a difference a day makes. As you can well imagine, we were chugging through great, beaming grins as Green Go took to the stage. Their synth-heavy energy got the packed crowd bopping about and the excitement didn’t die down till they trundled off knackered 40 minutes later. Ok, so their lyrics lack a little in imagination but their thunderous climaxes had us still gasping for breath as we left the building.
However, if we thought our dancing was over for the night we were very much mistaken. Last but not least we came back up to College Street, to Little Italy to be precise, for Delhi 2 Dublin at Revival. They were very behind schedule unfortunately so their set was condensed to just 20 minutes. But man, was it a frenetic 20 minutes. They gave us the works! Thumping bongos, formidable break-beating, high-speed guitar solos and the raciest of racy female fiddlers. We emerged into the cold night air sweaty and satisfied.