Rival Sons are the biggest thing in real American rock at the moment. Rival Sons have had little to no mainstream press. Rival Sons do not have perfume or sports drink endorsement deals. Rival Sons have marginal radio airplay, save for Oshawa’s 94.9 The Rock.
That, my friends, is rock n’roll. No big hype machine shoving the band down everyone’s throat. They record solid rock albums and play their asses off on the road. This is how it was done in the “Classic Rock” days before Peter Frampton starting selling out stadiums. It’s a beautiful thing. (You remember classic rock? The same acts that are played ad nauseuam on mainstream radio, who now charge you $300 for the horror of seeing them up close as you drink a $12 beer in a cold, sterile airplane hangar of a venue?) Last year they packed Cherry Cola’s full of lucky diehards, myself included. This week they’ve sold out Lee’s Palace, riding on the success of their live shows and latest album “Head Down.”
What can i say about Rival Sons that my good friend Bob Segarini hasn’t said a thousand times? This is pure, soulful rock n’roll music.
Thanks to 949. The Rock (again, an independent rock station with the good sense to play good music) a small group of us were able to attend a private show, where Rival Sons did a rare acoustic performance. In between gigs in Hamilton, London and then back to Toronto for the aforementioned lee’s Palace gig (side note: opening for them on this tour are the fucking incredible Balconies. See them when you can, alot!)
I’ve never seen a man possessed as Jay Buchanan when he gets in front of that mic. He loses himself in song, and it’s not an act. No melodramatic, over-emotive Mary J. Blige performance. Barefoot, shy and somewhat fragile, his voice is absolutely haunting. With his eye closed for most of his performance you are absolutely transfixed. To experience this in a tiny club with an acoustic setup was just breathtaking.
Ok enough superlatives for one post? Enjoy the photos and check out Rival sons on Rdio