By: Myles Herod June 24th, 2013
The stage was set for Heaven, a Brooklyn-based, psychedelic dream pop troupe with a wisp of hype. They never showed.
Toronto pop-sters, Alright Alright, in turn took their 9pm slot, with no indication given that they were last minute substitutes. Nice one, Rivoli.
With my mind still fixed on seeing the aforementioned New York based shoegazers, I was understandably letdown upon my discovery. Well, if only momentarily.
Balancing catchy, high-flying pop hooks with greasy haircuts and denim jackets, my immediate impression was one of surprise. The four-piece were cheerful, playing for the inebriated crowd to full effect.
Their arsenal of punchy riffs and serviceable ‘Ah-ah-ah’ choruses recalled an inflection of The Arctic Monkeys and, to a lesser degree, Vampire Weekend. As the bass guitar rolled and thumped, the lead singer conveyed a raspy conviction when he sang and shouted, sometimes at odds with angular guitar licks that soaked the venue.
The Rivoli, with no barriers between the stage and the crowd, offered optimum simplicity in the best sense. The sound was clean and the sparse stage lights glowed. As 11th hour replacements, Alright Alright played liked it was their last gig, with a fervent energy to burn.
The instruments got louder as the songs grooved and swung; they could be quiet during moments and loud and proud during others. Truthfully, the more I listened, the wider my smile grew. ‘Who are they guys?’ I recall muttering.
For a band to enter on stage without fanfare, or for their sake, false pretense, they hit running, coming off remarkably fresh.
In the words of Matthew McConaughey: ‘Alright, alright.’
(Photos by: Myles Herod)