LIVE REVIEW: The Dying Arts & 20 Amp Soundchild at Cherry Cola’s Toronto August 25, 2012

20ampBy: Sheena Lyonnais
August 26, 2012

Like any good rock show, 20 Amp Soundchild’s EP release party at Cherry Cola’s was running late last night. And like any typical music journalist, so was I. The fates aligned though and shortly after I arrived openers The Dying Arts took the stage. From the opening chord of “Think I’m Alright” I was hooked. Prior, I knew nothing of this band. With a name so brilliant I expected brilliance and am stoked to report I was not disappointed.

This Toronto band fuses 90’s British influences such as Radiohead and Blur with modern rock along the vein of Jet and the Strokes. Favourites included wildly energetic track “Authentic” which starts with the lie, “All the pretty girls won’t like rock’n’roll.” The Dying Arts performed with the utmost professionalism, whaling guitars and spit-in-your-face ferocious vocals. The show was PACKED, so packed it was impossible to walk around and the band fed off the energy, fueling it into a highly memorable performance that ended too soon.

It was also apparently covers night. The Dying Arts played a nod to the Boss who played Toronto the night before with a cover of “Dancing in the Dark.”

Then, 20 Amp Soundchild hit the stage. Known by fans as “the Beards,” 20 Amp tore into tracks off their newly released EP Outside the Market Place, produced by Mike Langford (Hawksley Workman, Sloan, Tupelo Honey). This has been a whirlwind of a year for the band, landing FACTOR grants, releasing arguably their best record yet, a fully funded pledge campaign and performing alongside the likes of USS. Their show last night oozed excitement and energy that poured onto the audience. The Pickering band brought a busload (literally) of supporters to the show that seemed to know all the words, adding to the big rock sound of the evening.

Furthering covers night, the band played 20 Amp-style versions of ZZ Top (the singing premier of The Beard known as Dave Hughes), Gnarls Barkley and a slew of others that Jack Daniels seems to have erased from my memory. They played for a while and even dusted off a few oldies much to the crowd’s enjoyment.

Both bands killed it and it was one of those nights that made me forever sad I briefly abandoned Toronto Music Scene this summer. (SORRY! BLAME LIFE!) I’m so glad to be back checking out incredible music and supporting the talent in this city again. Take my word and check both these bands out when you have a chance.

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