Concert Reviews

Big Wreck at History

While the holiday spirit might have been a bit slow to hit Toronto this year, the spirit of Rock and Roll was not. Many of us were caught in a low level funk brought on by everything from the economy, to the sad state of the world or simply to the lack of snow. (Thank you, global warming.) The antidote? A night with Big Wreck.

The current incarnation of the band ended its most recent North American tour on home turf at History. The first show opener, Watchman front man Daniel Greaves, hit the stage well ahead of the stated “8:00 show time” and played to an appreciative gaggle of early comers. Next up was local band, Texas King, who brought undeniable fun, energy and intensity to their set.

Big Wreck’s show started with a prog-rock vibe that hinted at the big sounds and big attitudes to come. Founding member, Ian Thornley, carried the lion’s share of the band’s showmanship with his powerful voice and admirable guitar chops. Taking a page from the guitar gods of the 1970s, Thornley fancies mid-song jam sessions. Perhaps more prevalent at the final show due to the fact that Thornley and another band member were feeling the effects of their time on the road. They did a decent job of masking the fact that they were ill, but by halfway through the show, Thornley confessed his struggle – the fans cheered on the band’s tenacity as they powered through, giving it all they had. They offered up the hits and the deep cuts, and peppered in a few snippets of cover songs to keep the crowd on its toes. The first big hit came just three songs in when an entire room got to belt out the words to That Song at full throttle. (Later in the evening, fans sang equally loudly to Albatross and Blown Wide Open. Throughout the show, the audience could see genuine joy on bassist David McMillan’s face – this is a band that loves playing for its fans. And the fans reciprocate that love.

The one-song encore was an epic rendition of The Oaf that included a guest appearance from Daniel Greaves, who treated the crowd to an amazing rendition of REM’s The Wrong Child. Big Wreck then were left to close out the song and bid goodnight to the crowd. The band could finally head home knowing that they gave the fans a night to remember.

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About author

From folk to pop to punk, Neloufer believes that music matters; that it is almost as vital as oxygen. She also has a deep love of language, et voilà! - music reviewer.