By: Adam Harrison –
Tokyo Police Club, Topanga and Hollerado put the rock in jingle bell rock Saturday night at the Sound Academy in Toronto, as the three Ontario bands played together as part of the Edge 102.1’s Edgefest Jingle Bell Concert Series.
Toronto favourites Topanga started the party with their unique blend of energetic rock and roll. They performed a eclectic mix of old and new material including “Oceans” and “Mabu” from their “Oceans” 7-inch which was released in February, and “Lionheart” and “Back Against the Wall” which appeared on their early “Lionheart EP” which was released in 2011. Having just finished recording their first full length with producer Dave Schiffman (Weezer, Rage Against The Machine, The Bronx), which should be out this summer, this isn’t the last we’ll hear from these guys.
Hollerado continued the party as they launched into their smash hit “Juliette” which sent the crowd into a frenzy. With wads of confetti being blasted into the wild crowd not five minutes into their 45-minute set, jumping, dancing, singing and crowd surfing were all part of the itinerary.
The Ottawa-based quartet’s lead singer and guitarist, Menno Versteeg, is not necessarily a vocalist that you’d write home about, but he represents Hollerado in what they do best, which is throw an awesome party with some good ol’ rock n’ roll music. Hollerado proved they could kick out a few jams on their painted white instruments while going into extended solos and bridges. “Americanarama” and the set closing “Got to Lose” were other highlights. With recently being announced as one of the opening bands on Billy Talent’s anticipated “Dead Silence Tour,” you can catch these guys again in the spring.
Tokyo Police Club opened their set with an early fan favourite and very Julian Casablancas-sounding “Cheer It On.” The Newmarket-based quartet were in the festive spirit, playing a number of songs in Christmas sweaters before sweltering under the glaring stage lights.
Although the baby-faced vocalist and bassist, David Monks, fronts the band, it is often the eccentric keyboardist, Graham Wright, that is the most entertaining to watch when he stomps and swings around especially when playing a tambourine.
The young audience ate up every song and went particularly wild for hits from 2010’s breakthrough album Champ, like “Favourite Colour,” “Breakneck Speed” and “Wait Up (Boots of Danger).” The highlight of the night came to the sounds of the classic Christmas carol, “Let it Snow,” in which it actually snowed inside the Sound Academy and everyone sang along while dancing in the lovely, white, artificial powder. The 75-minute set ended on a high note with the danceable “Your English is Good” from 2008’s Elephant Shell.
What makes up a good holiday celebration? Good music, good company, fellowship and snow, this show had all of the above… all that was missing was the turkey.