By: Andrea Holz August 20, 2013
To paraphrase Forrest Gump, shows at the Horseshoe are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get, but in my experience what get is usually sweet, delightful and more than satisfying.
St. Catherine’s Theatre Crisp kicked off the night on August 16. They brought their interesting genre-bending styles of funk and hip hop to the Horseshoe Tavern. Front man Kyle Petch was charismatic and made for an interesting show. However, as much as I enjoyed the music, I found the band’s token tap dancer rather interrupting. I just feel this band has such a big sound and a unique style the tap dancing didn’t quite work with this performance. As talented as the band and the tap dancer are, I’m not sure this was the right place to marry the two art forms.
Next up, The Fast Romantics, who leave you wanting more. This band has the perfect nostalgic 90’s sound with multitalented musicians. The keyboardist played multiple instruments and it helped showcase all of their abilities. Their songs are thoughtful, heartfelt and well structured. Best song of their set goes to “Afterlife Blues.” They have all the makings of a mainstream band and hope to see them step up and out of the Indie Scene. I expect great things.
The night took a lukewarm turn when The Maladies of Adam Stokes took the stage. They are a typical band of beautiful hipsters. Sadly, the beautiful frontman’s singing style was a little too sleepy for my taste. Though I very much enjoyed the unique talents of the trumpeter, I feel that this band needed a little more onstage energy and enthusiasm not just with the audience, but with each other. I will keep watching them, because they did have some good songs with interesting lyrics. I look forward to seeing their progress. For now I would call them the orange cream of the box. Sweet, but wasn’t really what was hoping for.
Though it was getting late and the energy began to fleet, once Inlet Sound took the stage it was like an explosion of awesome overtook the entire place. They were like a deliciously fabulous cluster of love for the ears! As expected of any headliner, they were the best of the night. This fantastic folk fivesome has some of the best on stage chemistry I have ever seen. Lead vocalist Michael Wexler is a charismatic and energetic frontman with the voice of an angel. Drummer Kate Maclean is always smiling, and I must mention the keyboardist who has the energy and enthusiasm of a younger, hipper Jerry Lee Lewis.
It is so refreshing to see a band that is having as much fun as the audience. Even trying to get a photo was a difficult task, as too many people were dancing including me. There was not a non-tapping toe in the house. The lyrics of “Mademoiselle” truly leave you smiling. Their set was my favourite part of the evening and I sincerely look forward to their next show. Tragically, they have announced that it won’t be for a while as they are getting back to writing. Until then, I highly recommend their album The Romantics.
Andrea Holz is a Toronto-based award winning writer, actress, comedian and coffee master.