Toronto – And so it was that on the first night of Canadian Music Fest, I trudged out into some truly dismal weather to make my way to Rancho Relaxo to check out some bands, all the while hoping that it was worth getting up off the couch to see. Luckily it was.
Ryan Warner and The Moonlight Ride were already playing as we made our way into the bar. They offered up some decent, Tom Waits influenced folk rock that featured horn and accordion. They had a couple sound issues, most notably during “Under the Floors,” a song they had apparently just written yesterday. It was a good song, probably the best of their set, and it reminded me a bit of the band Karate, but they were forced to start it over when the song became overtaken by a massive amount of feedback. The lesson here perhaps is to wait more than a day before performing a brand new song.
Alcoholic Faith Mission were up next and I have to say they were pretty impressive. They had a lush, warm sound that included keening vocals, keyboards, and copious amounts of trombone (it was seemingly played through a pedal at one point. Either that, or that guy can get some seriously sick sounds coming out of that thing naturally). One of the highlights was “Sobriety Up And Left,” introduced by the singer through an apparently true story about him waking up spitting up blood. Despite that gruesome image, it was a beautiful song. The audience definitely left with a good impression. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few people there that night check out one of their other shows this weekend.
Alcoholic Faith Mission play The Dakota Friday, March 11 @ midnight and The El Mocambo Saturday, March 12 @ 8:00 pm.