Concert Review: Tobin Sprout, November 18, Monarch Tavern


“I haven’t been here in a long time. It was a lot easier to get in last time. A lot of hoops this time.”

So said Tobin Sprout by way of introduction to the packed crowd at the Monarch Tavern for a show that was not only his first time back to Toronto in a while, but was also the first show back for many in attendance after a long time away from live music. For me personally, it was also my first time seeing Tobin Sprout and he did not disappoint. Starting things off with “Get Out Of My Throat“, Sprout set the tone for the night as he and his band ran through an enjoyable set full of songs from throughout his career.

With Sprout touring behind his latest release, last year’s folk/Americana leaning Empty Horses, I wondered whether he might have just been playing a stripped down solo set for this show, but luckily he brought a full band and the band, in turn, most definitely brought it. So yes, they may have had to jump through a lot more hoops to get here this time around, but the Toronto audience was definitely appreciative that they made the effort.

On a wildly tangential note, I will note here that while doing a recent Google search on Tobin Sprout, I stumbled across a completely unrelated company called Tobin Sports, known for their inflatable boats and kayaks. That is, I presume they’re unrelated – there’s always a chance that Tobin Sprout is a majority shareholder in the company, or maybe even the CEO. Perhaps there’s a whole other world he’s been involved in all along, providing quality inflatable modes of water transport to the CostCo faithful. Who knows?

Unlikely? Maybe, but stranger things have happened. I mean, his 1997 album Moonflower Plastic culminates in a track entitled “Water on the Boater’s Back.” That can’t be just a coincidence, can it?

Come on, people, the clues were there all along! Wake up!

Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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