The Rest @ El Mocambo

. : : October 21st, 2011 : : .

I’ve already stated several times that The Rest is one of the best bands I’ve discovered this year. Their forth-coming album, See-Saw, promises to be phenomenal — and that’s not me just whistlin’ dixie: the band has released two songs as a double A-side single as a preview, available now to download for free on their bandcamp page.

Having seen them play The Horseshoe Tavern and The Great Hall, I was interested to see how they would fit their plethora of band members on a stage as small as the one at the El Mocambo for the Indie Machine showcase. Turns out, they couldn’t. Sure, they SAY that guitarist Jordan Mitchell was in New York…

I dare say, with so much going on that the stage, the absence wasn’t are sorely missed as one might expect. The band’s remaining members stepped up admirably to carry the extra weight: The Rest’s sound was immense, their energy explosive. In other words, they put on just as phenomenal a show as I’ve grown to expect from them.

But fans were treated to a couple of other treats: first, those who showed up early caught (one of) cellist Anna Jarvis‘ other band, AutoManiac (I was sadly not one of the lucky few). Secondly, The Rest pulled out a couple of surprise song choices.

Boldly opening with a stripped bare cover of Roy Orbison‘s Crying, frontman Adam Bentley set new listeners’ expectations only to tear them down with a ripping version of Walk on Water (Auspicious Beginnings). But the real highlights of the night were the duo of older songs that were brand new to me.

Having only recently become a fan, well after See-Saw was written and in the midst of its troubled recording process, I’m actually a bit more familiar with the bands as-of-yet unreleased material than I am of the previous albums. Especially the songs I hadn’t yet heard live.

Although the entire set felt like a punch to the gut in the best possible way, it was Coughing Blood, Fresh Mountain Air and (especially) Innocent Fools took my breath away. It was a nice treat for fresh ears to hear old tracks revisited and reinvigorated.

I keep waiting for The Rest to fail living up to my memory of their previous performance, and each and every time they contrarily set the bar higher still. If you get the chance, see this band live. Please.

01. Crying [Roy Orbison]
02. Walk On Water (Auspicious Beginnings)
03. Hey! For Horses
04. Coughing Bloog, Fresh Mountain Air
05. [banter]
06. Sheep In Wolves Clothing
07. [banter]
08. The Last Day
09. [banter]
10. Innocent Fools
11. [banter]
12. The Close Western

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The Last Day (Live In Toronto) [MP3 sample]

Thanks to Indie Machine, The Rest, and Anna Jarvis for help with the setlist!

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