By: Shelby Monita (@shelbymonita) –
This past Thursday, one of Toronto’s favourite dive bars played host to one hell of a line up. To start things off local garage-pop-punk band, Pink Wine played to a small crowd, but that didn’t stop them from pumping out a perfect mix of power pop and punk rock with a touch of glam tunes. These hometown boys brought enough energy to the stage that the sparse audience couldn’t help but shake their heads with delight, and a few more daring patrons took to full out dancing. When the band’s anthem “I Like Pink Wine” was preformed, lead singer, Joel French left the stage to join the crowd for part of the song, then making his way back to the stage only to sit in a glamour shot pose, it was a perfect scene and soundtrack for a punk rock Rocky Horror Picture Show remake.
The next crowd-pleasing act was Brooklyn-based Hunters. Aside from this band’s stage antics being nothing short of rad, there’s not much more that needs to be said for this garage rock four piece. One of the two lead singers, Isabel Almeidan, jumped, danced and screamed her way into our hearts. While the other vocalist, Derek Watson’s deep, dark ways left us wanting more. A dark stage set up with minimal lighting was the perfect fit for their dirty guitar riffs and heavy bass. The top track was “Noisy Bitch”, a song that when played everyone couldn’t help but shuffle around, even just a little bit.
Once Hunters finished it was only a short wait until California native, Hunx and his Punx took to the stage. Hunx (a.k.a. Seth Bogart) walked out in a black onesie covered in band names, which included Bikini Kill and Nine Inch Nails. His costume matched the backdrop to the stage, a faux brown brick wall, completed with scattered white graffiti, much like the cover and theme of his latest album “Street Punk”, which introduced us to Hunx’s smore traditional punk side, moving away from bubblegum ballads, into hard, strong, loud, short, fast punk songs. Though despite this new look forHunx, most of his set didn’t include the tracks from the latest album. When he hit the stage he first addressed the audience by informing everyone that he will not be performing until at least 10 people took off their shirts, in the end only two people were daring enough. Once Hunx declared everyone to be boring, he jumped into his set with “You don’t like Rock n Roll”. It may of seemed like Hunx had a new hard edge to him, but all that faded away once he started moving around the stage, flamboyant and sassy as ever. Just before “Bad Boy” kicked in, Hunx stripped out of his punk rock onesie and played the last 25 minutes of his 40 minute set in nothing but leopard print undies. This, of course was the moment the mosh pit began, as the crowd that was a mix of underage kids, some of the queer community, punk lovers and welcomed freaks began to get rowdy and sweaty. Hunx ended the set wearing sunglasses, a backwards leather baseball cap and a bottle of beer in his hand for “Lover’s Lane” which was performed with backing vocals from bandmateand fellow songwriter Shannon Shaw (Shannon and the Clams). The band came back for an encore that included aBeastie Boys cover of “Egg Raid on Mojo” and an audience request of “Rat Bag.” Overall the show is what someone would expect from Hunx, fun, silly, a bit odd, but most importantly a good time all around. And of course the unexpected, in the case the unexpected came from an audience member allegedly showing Hunx his penis from the front row. Again, exactly what you would expect from a Hunx and his Punx show.