Concert Review: Hollerado @ Sound Academy

HolleradoIt’s the first Friday night after the thaw and its 12 degrees at sundown in Toronto . Everything feels new and bizarre and so very perfect, what makes it better is a 3-piece power-indie rock band hailing from Ottawa: Hollerado. It’s the sweetest four-syllable descriptor for the triad of men that brought to life summer anthems like Americanarama, Juliette, So It Goes and their recent danceably explosive track, Desire 126. All were headed towards the Sound Academy for 102.1 The Edge’s Fredfest with a lighter wardrobe, a slight buzz, and a tremendous anticipation to celebrate the beginning of Toronto’s favorite season – summer.

The show started with a BURST of confetti streamers that might as well have resembled all of our swelling hearts that night. The show began with the premiere of their music video for Desire 126 starring the comedic antics of Dave Foley. The video is dynamite and had us charged for the band to start playing. The band members later promoted that single by asking if we’d like to hear it again. Of course we would want an encore.

During the infamous Juliette, the extended guitar solo allowed for Meno Versteeg to stage-dive as the mosh pit was transformed with psychedelic black light. The crowd was hopping, arms in the air, sweaty bodies, smiles for days.The band also used a snow-machine consistently throughout the set and everyone was ecstatic with wonder – the long winter has led us to resent anything falling from the sky, but tonight Hollerado did it right. Some crowd members had acquired an empty prize-box that Fearless Fred and Melani Mariani– the event hosts – tossed during the giveaway portion of the night, and that same box was later used as a makeshift-beach ball bouncing over our heads.

It was difficult to snap the perfect photo of the band on stage because someone was always crowd-surfing. The band would break between songs to tell us that we are the most unpretentious city they have ever met. Versteeg particularly expressed this when he started playing a slow rhythmic solo without a steady beat and the audience tried to clap along to it. It is without a doubt that the members of Holleado have been playing together for a long time. The group met while living on the same street growing up and developed a band early on. Their tight set and familiarity with one another gives them the freedom to really let loose once in awhile. My favorite was when Jake Boyd let loose on this wildly charged drum solo; he is a true athlete of his craft. Although I listen to this band year-round, the nostalgic feelings of beach parties and BBQ’s flooded my mind. It is a true testament that the summer concert season has begun.

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Stefanie Romano | @stefaloves

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