I don’t fancy myself as a writer. In fact I dread the little intros I write here before I present the photos. I can’t just say NOTHING, but what I do write needs to be witty and engaging, right? Well today I actually DO want to express myself. I need to talk about this Rival Sons show at Lee’s Palace last Friday. for those of you already bored, feel free to skip to the photos, but be sure to click the links to download their albums from iTunes first, thanks.
I go to alot of shows. I haven’t been wowed like this in years. (Prince shows aside, obviously). The energy in the room before Rival Sons took the stage was incredible. i felt excited to be there and not just because I scored a great spot for shooting the band. Sadly that tends to be all that excites me about live music these days, but it’s good to feel alive again!
I’ve written about this band recently, when I was lucky enough to see them at Club 279, performing five acoustic songs to about a hundred people in the audience. The Lee’s Palace show was a full on, rock extravaganza. It was one of those rare moments when you felt like you were witnessing SOMETHING. A band just before their peak? A crowd completely floored by a group of real rock musicians? A heart warming homecoming of sorts? All of that. Going through dozens of photos I took that night I’m reminded of a photo my friend Doug McClement took back in 1969 at The Rockpile (now The Masonic temple, MTv studios or something). I’m not making a direct comparison to RS and LZ, but it’s definitely hard to not see similarities. And I wonder if Doug knew what he was witnessing or capturing that day.
Rival Sons are from California but they’ll be the first to admit Toronto has been their significant home away from home. Specifically at Cherry Cola’s Rock n’Rolla Cabaret. The only bar to book them over and over again, crucial in securing them their Canadian distribution. When lead singer Jay Buchanan stopped the show to give a sincere warm thank you to Cherry’s, it’s owner Cherish Stevenson, booker Dave Holender and my good friend Bob Segarini, who has championed them from day one in his column, it was a beautiful, heartfelt moment.
Please be sure to grab all 3 of the Rival Sons albums as soon as you can, including their latest “Head Down”. They are available on iTunes (see link below) or CD/Vinyl from the bands website