Thursday night brought my sister and I downtown to see Yukon Blonde at a small but infamous place, Lee’s Palace. It was my first time at this venue and it exceeded my expectations in every way. We arrived early to a mostly empty bar and despite being a little rough around the edges and lacking coat check, Lee’s Palace was pretty awesome little spot to take in some live music. We parked ourselves right at the front of the stage, which gave us a spot to put our beers down and a corner to stash our jackets in, leaving us free to dance the night away. The opening band was a group from Minneapolis called On An On, who played a catchy set to warm up the crowd. By the time Yukon Blonde took the stage it was like an injection of pure energy into the room. They bounced from song to song keeping the energy up and making use of every inch of the small stage, with lead singer Jeff Innes taking a seat on the edge of the stage to sing face to face with the front row fans. Their set wrapped up with one of my favourite encores of all time, calling out a couple of members of the opening band armed with beer bottles and drumsticks, they all launched into a spectacular cover of David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’. Keep an eye out for some videos of this set coming soon to JackSoFar!
Dwayne Gretzky, an awesome supergroup cover band and Toronto favourite, were wrapping up their month long residency of Friday night shows at The Horseshoe Tavern, and we were determined to be in attendance for this one. We had made
the mistake earlier in the month of showing up late for their Friday night set, and spent a cold couple of hours outside hoping in vain to make it in. This time we arrived early enough that there was no lineup at all and we breezed into the bar and immediately grabbed a pitcher of beer while taking in the scene. We quickly realized that we had made a mistake not noticing the line up which had formed inside of the bar, waiting for the back area where the stage is to open up. We found our place in line with a couple of bad ass ladies who were big Dwayne Gretzky fans. It was a short wait until they were opening up the back of the bar and after grabbing some beers we made our way to the front of the stage to meet up with our new friends from the line. The opening band Twin Within, came dressed for the occasion sporting bow ties and suit jackets, which rapidly deteriorated to an unbuttoned shirt and rolled up pants on the lead singer as he worked up a sweat to keep everyone entertained.
Dwayne Gretzky came on right on time and held nothing back in a set that included music from a variety of genres and crossing many decades of classics. The collective talent of the members of this band is just an awesome thing to witness and they keep you on your toes switching it up between singers to utilize the vocal strengths of each person on just the right songs. One of my favourite things about watching a band perform is when they have real chemistry on stage, and you can immediately tell that the members of Dwayne Gretzky are a close knit bunch who truly enjoy playing together. Keep an eye and an ear out for some of these guys performing our national anthem at the Maple Leafs vs. Senators game on March 5th! Way to go Dwayne Gretazky, you guys ROCK!
There are a lot more pictures and videos to come from these shows and a couple more recent events, so keep checking out our Shots from the shows page for the latest!