Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Vaccines at The Horseshoe Tavern

(all photos by PJMixer)

The Vaccines, a new band from the UK performed at The Horseshoe Tavern last night.

I hadn't heard of The Vaccines when I first saw the concert listing. A few days later, while flipping through Q Magazine with my husband, we're reading about the 10 New Faces of 2011 where The Vaccines were mentioned. When I saw their name, I thought it might have been the concert listing I had seen. It turns out that it was. Edge 102's Nu Music Night had The Vaccines coming to Toronto before their album is released this spring.

We arrived to the venue in time to hear the last two songs by the opening band The High Dials from Montreal. I wish I had heard more because they sounded really good. I'm downloading some of their songs today. Their fourth album was just released last November. Here's their setlist as they wrote it:
The Horseshoe Tavern is one of the few venues that allow D-SLR cameras so my husband likes to get close to try to get great quality shots of the band.

Before The Vaccines went on stage, we met a guy who writes for VivoScene who flew in from Calgary for this show. He interviewed the band in the afternoon and will be posting a review on the VivoScene website later this week. That will be worth checking out.

The Vaccines are very hyped in the UK. I haven't seen a band with this much hype before their album release since Arctic Monkeys (unless I want to count Drake). Before their album is even released, they have been nominated for Critics' Choice at the Brit Awards. I was a little concerned that they wouldn't live up to the hype, especially after they cancelled a couple of shows last week because the lead singer Justin Young was recovering from throat surgery.

It seems like he has recovered well because there was no sign of it in their performance. They played a solid although short set. It was a good introduction of them to Canada and of Canada to them. Justin did mention that even their Icelandic band member had never been as cold as he was in Toronto.

I imagine they arrived on Monday because that was the really cold day. It was a balmy 2 degrees yesterday with rain and snow...but maybe it's the humidity that makes if feel even colder.

They opened the set with Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra) a very upbeat song that was released as a single in November. Even with it being shorter than a minute and a half it gave a good representation of the energy that was to come.

It starts with the very singable:
Pretty girl, wreckin' bar,
Ra ra ra ra yeah you are!
Growin' up, I'm twice the man,
Yeah yeah yeah yeah, yeah I am!

This venue isn't the greatest for video taking. I like to relive the performances even when the sound isn't up to par so I record anyway, but I don't always upload them. This one was worth uploading just for the introduction.

It has a very catchy chorus:

But if you wanna come back it's alright, it's alright!
It's alright if you wanna come back!
If you wanna come back it's alright, it's alright!
It's alright if you wanna come back to me!

I was happy to get a close-up view of their concert because I'm sure the next time they come, I won't want to be too close when it is actually a mosh pit. Most of their songs are high energy and easy to sing to.

After the concert, I grabbed the setlist from the stage. I'm not sure whether they performed European Sun or Wet Suit which are marked with a question mark on the setlist. From the times on the videos I took, it's possible that they played one of them. Since they were not the songs I knew beforehand, I can't confirm.

Time will tell whether The Vaccines will live up to the hype, but I won't be surprised if they do.