When my girlfriend told me that her dad had asked us to come with him to see The Zombies at the Sound Academy in Toronto on Sunday night, my first thought was, “Oh great, a bunch of geriatric dudes playing songs I mostly don’t know from the ‘60s. Sounds like a blast. . . .” But then she told me that he invited us for beer and ribs before the show, and suddenly I had plans for Sunday night.
When we got to the venue, it was a little sparse. That’s okay; I’ve never been one for crowds. The audience was a little more mixed than I’m used to. In fact, there were more grey heads than otherwise. No problem there; at least I didn’t have to worry about spilling my drink after being pushed around by rowdy teenagers. There was nothing wrong with the atmosphere, it was just. . . different. At least, from what I’m used to.
Before long, the opening act took the stage, Ottawa’s Suns of Stone. Now, maybe I was just being cynical (okay, I was definitely being cynical), but my first thought was, “Oh man, amateur hour. Here we go.” And admittedly, the band took a song or two to find their footing. But once they found it, boy, did they ever.
The four piece’s particular flavour or rock is a blending of Skynard-style ‘70s throwback, with The Black Keys’ radio-friendly sensibilities, and a liberal application of Jimmy Page-inspired guitar riffs. But comparisons aside, the band just played some good old-fashioned rock ‘n roll, and they played it well.
They had a few fans in the audience, but they were significantly outnumbered by the older folks who were just there for some psychedelic pop-rock. Despite a slightly chilly welcome, they did their thing and won over a crowd that was more than a little impatient for the main act. And they definitely left with more fans than they had coming in.
Colour me impressed.
Suns of Stone have a debut EP which is available as a free download on their website. Get it while it’s hot!
Oh, and by the way, The Zombies were fantastic, you ageist jerks.