Tristen puts on a pretty good show. Not being overly familiar with the Nashville based musician’s work, I went into the show pretty much blind and walked away impressed. She’s got a good voice that really shines through in her catchy, upbeat folk pop tunes. She’s touring behind her latest, Charlatans At The Garden Gate, which has received accolades from publications such as Spin, Paste, and American Songwriter, and which her press release describes as “hooky guitar pop that blends country, rockabilly, rock’n'roll, girl group sounds and introspective balladry.” Yup, that sounds about right to me. She’s got a likeable presence on stage and seemed to make a good impression on the crowd. The crowd apparently made a good impression on her too, as she later remarked on Twitter, “ Toronto! We love you and your funny money – thanks for the love.”
I was considerably more familiar with the work of headliner Justin Townes Earle, though I’m still working on digesting 2012′s Harlem River Blues and haven’t yet given Nothing’s Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now a listen. From what I could tell, nothing off the new album seems like a radical departure for Earle, though one change was apparent: this was my first time seeing Earle backed up by a full band. Truthfully, I feel like I kind of prefer seeing him as more of a solo act, though it did sound good with a fuller sound and Earle, as usual, put on a good show. And I suppose if you’re making the move from The Horseshoe (where he played last time he was in town) to The Opera House, you’ve got to step up your game a bit. Well done, Justin Townes Earle. Now I guess I’d better go listen to that new album.