Toronto – If you would have told me last year that between SXSW, Primavera and NXNE that Men Without Hats would be one of the bands I would see twice in a three month timespan, I would have looked at you with a quizzical look. Yet, there I was on Thursday night, as the clock struck midnight, standing in the middle of a sparsely packed Great Hall and waiting once again for the seminal 80s Canadian new wave band to take the stage.
I will fully admit that part of my show going relationship with the band is the amusement I get by seeing older middle age people absolutely lose it as Ivan Doroschuk delivers the hits in his still memorable baritone voice. It is fully inspiring to know that in ten years time, I could be doing the same thing when some random britpop band comes into town.
Taking the stage to a great ovation, the band quickly launched into a Rolling Stones cover – Jumpin Jack Flash, which led me to briefly contemplate the hilarity of what would happen if the band did a Rolling Stones cover set, much like the Meligrove Band did with the Ramones a night before. Obviously, this was not the case as the track Moonbeam set the Great Hall on fire.
The crowd at the Great Hall was a mix of the dedicated and the curious. The dedicated fans probably have been waiting for this show since the day it was announced, while the curious were probably there to hear the Safety Dance and say that they’ve seen this band. Regardless of who you were, it was impossible to not get mixed up in the infectious energy that emanated from the crowd, building in momentum as the band delivered hit after hit.
The band was solid as expected and Ivan Doroschuk moved very well for a 49 year old man. He danced, he sang, he definitely looked like a refined lead of a well established rock band. The show ended as expected, with The Safety Dance a song with impossibly easy to remember lyrics and as memorable a synth line as you can find. I’m sure there was a lot of nostalgic memory trips taken by the crowd during that song, and now because of NXNE, they will have it fresh in their memory banks for years to come.
Make the effort to see them at Yonge and Dundas tonight.
Jumpin Jack Flash
I Got The Message
Pop Goes The World
Living In China
Where Do The Boys Go