Live Review: Steam Whistle Unsigned featuring Freedom or Death, The Darcy’s and Wildlife

Band pic of Toronto band Wildfire By: Sheena Lyonnais
May 1, 2011

We arrived just after Freedom or Death took the stage at the Steam Whistle Brewery on the 29th and were instantly catapulted into their enigmatic energy, their soulful touch and their natural ability to lure the audience into their songs and hold them there until the very last note.

This band possesses a magic that doesn’t come easily, a rare talent derived from something innate and real, something that should come as no surprise considering their name is based off the Greek War of Independence.  Vocalist Sway is the perfect front man for not only does he have an amazing voice, but he is also uniquely captivating and pleasantly moving, a figure you can’t help but be drawn to.  Highlights included “Lost In Dances” and “This Crowded Room,” two tracks that emphasize how thrilling their music is.

The party doubled as their official album release for their second EP EGO, a disc you should probably pick up ASAP.  They were the highlight of the night for me and their set comes with great recommendation and high regard.

Up next was the Darcys , a band that has been really making waves lately with their highly respected slow, shimmery indie rock.  They are undeniably great on record, but live it sometimes seems they’re shy to shine.  I don’t want them to sing me a song; I want them to tell me a story.  I want the hair on my arms to stand up and most of all I want them to know they have the power to do this from the very first note.  As the set went on the momentum built and about half way through vocalist Jason Coust really came into his own, harnessed the songs and seduced the crowd with their haunting tunes and the excitement that comes with everyone feeling your songs.  Perhaps the huge crowd, apparently one of the largest Steam Whistle has ever had, initially made them nervous.  I say kick the nerves and truly live the music you know we all love from the get go.

Wildlife took the stage to a roar.  Instantly peppier than their predecessors, they igniting mass dancing in a crowd who’s blood was now tainted with many fresh beers and $4 Jack Daniels.   The band is still riding the sunshine following the release of last year’s debut album Strike Hard, Young Diamond, a record that put them on the map in Toronto’s indie scene for their fun beats and undeniable catchiness.  Wildlife had been on our radar for a while and certainly did not disappoint, ending an amazing night of music with an energetic set and an almost adorable level of excitement. 

If you can take anything out of the night, it’s that Steam Whistle sure knows how to throw a party and recognize killer talent in the city.  Congrats to the Brewery and all the bands for a night perfectly well done.  

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