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Tag: Horseshoe Tavern

Nada Surf @ Horseshoe Tavern

Nada Surf
Nada Surf @ Horseshoe Tavern

. : : November 16th, 2015 : : .

I was afraid I was growing out of Nada Surf.

It was a weird feeling; their mid-career albums Let Go, The Weight Is A Gift, and (to a slightly lesser degree) Lucky were seminal albums for my twenties.

In fact, it was a chance, last minute decision to accompany my buddy to their show promoting Let Go that can be credited with my taping bug. I knew little more than the one hit wonder smash Popular from their debut album High/Low some seven-years earlier, but I was bored with nothing else to do, wanted some company and excitement, and invited myself along.

He had been taping shows he’d been going to for a while, but this was the first time I’d really paid attention to what he was doing and tried to help whenever I could. Without a dollar to my name I’d had to borrow $20 for the cover fee, and when all three bands performing that night (Sondre Lerche and The Long Winters opened) blew me away and I hadn’t any money left over to buy their albums, the recordings of the band’s sets received frequent, almost exclusive rotation in their stead.

Jim Cuddy, Danny Michel, & Quique Escamilla @ Horseshoe Tavern

. : : March 20th, 2013 : : . After a phenomenal opening set by NQ Arbuckle, and an inconsistent set by Daniel Romano, Oh Susanna and Kayla Howran following, the third set featuring Jim Cuddy, Danny Michel and Quique Escamilla fell… well, I guess somewhere in the middle. They had an immediate advantage over their predecessors: Quique Escamilla has recently been touring with Danny Michel as both an opener, and as a part of his backing band. Furthermore, the backing band on this evening was also Danny Michel’s — so the true wild card of the night was Jim Cuddy. Quique Escamilla is a talented and engaging performer, but how much you…

Daniel Romano, Oh Susanna, & Kayla Howran @ Horseshoe Tavern

. : : March 20th, 2013 : : . After a great, cohesive set by NQ Arbuckle (if you discount the technical snafus), and countless successful cooperative showcases in the past, I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit some disappointment in the set performed by Daniel Romano, Oh Susanna and Kayla Howran directly following. Credit where credit’s due: Daniel Romano and his backing band (who supported the entire set) seemed professional and prepared, and undoubtedly held the set together. Perhaps the comfort of familiarity of performing with familiar musicians afforded him that luxury? Neither Oh Susanna or Kayla Howran seemed quite as prepared. My clearest memory of the performance…

NQ Arbuckle @ Horseshoe Tavern

. : : March 20th, 2013 : : . A few of you know the reason why this blog has seen so few entries in 2013, but for those of you who may not, I welcomed a healthy, happy, beautiful baby boy into my family in mid-March. A scant week after his birth was a special Canadian Music Week showcase put together in partnership with Americana Music Association and Six Shooter Records. I’ve had amazing luck with Six Shooter Records run showcases, discovering some of my favourite artists today through the collaborations and performances at these events, including Kathleen Edwards and Whitehorse. So when I heard about this year’s…

Dwayne Gretzky @ Horseshoe Tavern

. : : October 31st, 2012 : : . What better way to celebrate this year’s Valentine’s Day than with remembering last year’s Hallowe’en? Sure, it might be weird to celebrate Valentine’s Day by listening to songs such as The Talking Heads‘ “Psycho Killer” and Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller“, but also kind of awesome, amirite?! Maybe, maybe not. Regardless, this past Hallowe’en, I introduced my brother to what I described as “unquestionably far and away the best cover band in Toronto, hands down.” He raised an eyebrow. “Who do they cover?” “EVERYBODY!” It was clear that this Hallowe’en show would be special. Dwayne Gretzky would be pulling…

Cursive @ Horseshoe Tavern

. : : March 31st, 2012 : : . The difference between Cursive‘s performances in Buffalo at Mohawk Place and in Toronto at the Horseshoe Tavern could hardly have been more night and day. And no, not just because the capacity crowd was seemingly made up of frustratingly obnoxious jerks, aptly described by MusicSheBlogged.com as “sentimental ‘bros’ and their overly emotional fist pumping” and “hilarious […] douchebags”. Although it was. Rather, Cursive underscored just what I love about live music. The unpredictability, seeming spontaneity of a performance where anything could happen. From one night to the next, there was remarkable difference in the performance. Sure, this second night might…

Dark Mean @ Horseshoe Tavern

    . : : June 24th, 2011 : : . After three surprisingly good-to-great opening acts at the Horseshoe Tavern, it was finally time for the headliners. Hot on the heels of the release of their long-awaited debut LP (in fact, this was the official record release party!), the self-titled album by Dark Mean should have been the hero of the night. I first discovered Dark Mean just a hair under a year ago at a free “local” showcase the Horseshoe runs on Monday evenings. Dark Mean was the first band of the night, playing just before Colleen Brown, the band that lured me out.…

Paper Lions @ Horseshoe Tavern

      . : : June 24th, 2011 : : . Leaning heavily on piano-and-guitar pop/rock and phenomenal vocal harmonies that blended so well they might as well have been pre-recorded samples, it was clear within the first 90-seconds of Paper Lions‘ set at the Horseshoe Tavern that the band could have been checking off items on my “Things I Loves About Music” checklist. It’s no surprise that The Horseshoe had finally filled up in time to catch this little band of brothers and friends from Prince Edward Island on the cusp of making it big. Indeed, they’ve been featured on MTV Live!…

The Rest @ Horseshoe Tavern

. : : June 24th, 2011 : : . Following Tacoma Hellfarm Tragedy, I stepped outside The Horseshoe Tavern to grab some delicious street meat (Italian sausage, to be exact). The next band on stage was set to be Hamilton’s The Rest. In a rush to leave the house, I forgot to pack spare batteries. Actually, I forgot to pack fresh batteries at all! The only ones I had on me were the two already in the recorder which had been fairly heavily used a week earlier to tape the Jim Bryson CBC session. It seemed unlikely that I would be able to manage to wrangle another four…

Tacoma Hellfarm Tragedy @ Horseshoe Tavern

. : : June 24th, 2011 : : . I have a well-documented habit of getting to venues well before the first band is scheduled to play, but a severe case of the lazies kept me from heading down to the Horseshoe Tavern as early as I might have otherwise. So, when I got there with only two or three minutes before the first band was scheduled to start and the room was all but empty, I scratched my head a bit. A couple in front of me in line was confused when they were prompted to pay $7 to enter the backroom. “But…