Toronto – Wednesday was the first night of NXNE festvities, yet there was not a whole lot going on. if you weren’t one of the lucky few who managed to check out that CN Tower show , one of the few other options was Eagles Of Death Metal. It would prove to be a night of pure rock and roll spectacle … kind of like the rock equivalent of a WWE Wrestling match.
First up were Small Sins, formerly known at some point awhile back as The Ladies And Gentlemen. Small Sins is probably a better name. Their sound incorporated a lot of elements – indie, synthpop, maybe a bit of glam rock touches here and there. They were pretty good depite the fact that some members of the crowd did not seem that receptive to their sound. The highlight of their performance was the guy playing synthesizer and various percussion instruments. That guy really rocked out while playing maracas and tambourine. There’s a reason why he’s situated at centre stage.
The crowd went wild as Jesse “The Devil” Hughes and his bandmates (one of whom, guitarist Dave Catching, reminded me of Drew Carrey) took to the stage. And Hughes actively encouraged and incited such behaviour. The guy seems to live and breathe rock n’ roll. With his dark glasses, overgrown walrus style moustache and beard combo and slicked back yet shaggy hair, he practically is rock. His stage banter further illustrated his love of the rock – extolling the virtues of the powers of rock n’ roll, telling the ladies how lovely they were (and grabbing like 2 dozen of them to join the band on stage throughout the show) and continuously punctuating his sentences with “Can you dig it?” a la Booker T, his rock n’ roll proselytizing was pure shtick … but the schtick works.