Photographs by Neil Van.
“I always did it like a real rebel would” sang Justin Young, of the Vaccines’ in the midst of a boisterous set Friday night, at The Opera House. Opening the night was Modern Space from Newmarket, ON. A raucous crowd, energized by the subtle rebellion on stage, as the band ditched their garage rock label for amplified arena-style rock ‘n roll.
Young’s canny songwriting is best showcased live, turning catchy melodies into dynamic jubilees. The real star however was Freddie Crown’s guitar, driving the tour de force all night long. The band, like their latest album, English Graffiti, played fast and loose with a brisk, rowdy set sprinkled with sing-a-longs of the Vaccines’ staples “Teenage Icon,” “I Always Knew” and “Post Break-Up Sex.”
Newer cuts “Give Me A Sign” and “20/20” offered some of the most electrifying moments in a high-octane set. Not satisfied, Young’s solo acoustic performance of “No Hope” during the band’s encore zigged just when it looked like they’d zag.
The Vaccines’ blew the mid-size Opera House out of proportion with arena-size rock ‘n roll and intensity to match. Their vibrant, kitschy set of guitar-driven rock turned up to eleven left an impression but not what you’d expect from the Vaccines.
Thanks to Collective Concerts for media access.