It’s been a while since I’ve been to The Garrison. Turns out, they moved the bar to the back of the room, where it now serves Grasshopper and… Old Style Pilsner!? Didn’t know you could even buy that shit out here! In any case, it remains a decent place to catch a concert, with a solid sound system and heavy soundtrack between bands. Speaking of which, all the local openers on the evening were very à propos. Looks like Toronto’s noise-rock scene is alive and well.
Now, I’ve been listening to Godstopper for quite some time, but had not caught them in person until this evening. They play live as a three-piece, although they were previously a one-man studio project. Mind you, said one-man still performs drums and vocals simultaneously, which is pretty impressive, seeing as I can’t even chew gum and drink coffee.
The next band, Thighs, politely asked me to move while they set up their equipment… on the floor. Hey, if it means less setup time for the headliners, I’m all for it. With such an in-your-face setup, I was expecting a blistering set of hardcore punk shorter than most bowel movements, but in the end, they turned out to be more post-hardcore, which was still cool, and better suited for this bill, anyways.
Lest you get the impression this was an instrumental outfit, they did have a singer. It’s just that he was behind me most of the time…
And then, of course, the main event. Twas quite a coincidence that a horse named Oxbow won the Preakness the same day as the band Oxbow played a rare weekend gig. Eugene Robinson made a comment to this effect, saying “you should’ve bet on Oxbow.” He delivered more such low-key, humourous stage banter when not unleashing his high-pitched vocals, which sounded a little low in the mix. Otherwise, twas an overall enthralling set, a rare, one-off appearance well worth the price of admission.
And yes, Robinson stripped down to his underwear.