Toronto’s Teenage Kicks rocked the Horseshoe
Friday nights in Toronto always leave you with an internal struggle of indecisive rivals – what show to go to, what party to go to, where’s the place to be. But there’s generally always going to be something solid going down at the Horseshoe Tavern on Queen Street West.
On this Friday, April 25, Indie88 radio Toronto hosted Teenage Kicks’ homecoming album release party, culminating a long-running cross-Canada Tour that lead the gang from Ontario, across the prairies to Red Deer, Alta., and back home to Toronto to end it all after over two dozen shows.
Martyr unfortunately missed the opening local band, named Christian Punk Band due to a later arrival on the scene, but given their transparent name, one can garner an idea of what to expect from these young followers of the faith. Just kidding, the lead guitarist and singer’s name is actually Christian Turner and he started a punk band, hence the clever name. After their set was finished, and just before Teenage Kicks came out a Thunder Bay, Ont. band (now poised in Toronto) by the name of Poor Young Things delighted the crowd with their own brandishing of grungy garage rock.
Both the guitarists Matt Fratpietro (right) and Dave Grant (left) exude an extremely enthusiastic energy on stage and leave nothing to the imagination. What you see is what you get with these raw, talented defenders of the axes.
The Horseshoe was jam packed at this point, some time about an hour before midnight. The sold-out crowd was rocking away and pushing the stage as the Poor Young Things gave hell on the stage with a relentless assault of gruelling guitars and powerful vocals.The Poor Young Things are also touring in support of their newest record The Heart, The Head, The End. On the band’s Facebook page, they describe the album as such: “The new record’s spit-shine polish – it’s melodic but unfussy and clearly made by flesh-and-blood people playing actual instruments together – reflects the swift, organic manner in which it was written and recorded.”
Not a bad description of their music, and live, it’s just amped up to an entirely new level. At one point Grant jumped off of the stage and started rocking out with his guitar in the middle of the crowd. Long story short the Poor Young Things leave a great first impression, and are definitely a great act to see live.
They did an excellent job of warming up the crowd for the main event – The Teenage Kicks.The combination of the van Helvoort brothers front and centre, Pete on guitar and vocals and Jeff on bass and vocals. They took the ball that the Poor Young Things passed up for them and ran with it.
They were slated for an 11:30 start, but they didn’t come on until a little after midnight.
The guys have been playing together for a long time, but recently just introduced this new drummer. Surprisingly, you wouldn’t even know that they have a revolving door of drummers, considering how tight their live performance was.The new album Spoils of Youth is purely a reflection of who these brothers are, what they represent, and what they love doing most – playing music.
From the first band they formed together 10 years ago, to present day Teenage Kicks, the van Helvoort brothers have come a lone way. Their musical prowess and destination for greatness in the rock realm has never been so concrete as it is now with the release of Spoils of Youth.
This album represents the van Helvoorts’ continued passion to create the music and ambiance they love, that is true to themselves, and true to the music they’ve always loved; songs rife with honesty, integrity, and truth.
Although Pete is the frontman and commands most of the attention with his ripping and shredding and his unadulterated and unpolished singing, brother Jeff has the ability to command just as much attention using his face alone. The guy is so into his bass lines and show that he looks fucking crazy while he’s playing – and the crowd loved every second of it.The guys played for about an hour before calling it quitting time, and dedicated their new single off the new album “Stone & Undulation,” to their rock, their anchor, and their greatest supporter “Marta.” Basically the band takes care of the music, and she takes care of everything else for them.
After a sold-out show at one of Toronto’s legendary music venues, it’ll be hard for the Teenage Kicks to come down from this high, but for these guys, the fun has just begun.
Story and Photos by Devin Size