Like a showcase at a little underground hole-in-the-wall after hours bar, Potty Mouth took over The Silver Dollar May 12th. One of the several bands opening for Potty Mouth was Nicholas Double You & the B Squad, which is, yes, quite a mouthful, but shouldn’t take away from the band at all. With their guitars, drums, clarinet (!), and saxophone (!!), the band played their first gig in 8 months and were suitably nervous, although that fueled their energy. Like the saxophonist and clarinetist painted on the walls of the bar, a single band member played both instruments at the same time, which is in itself very impressive. The group played some kind of funky rockabilly jazz rock, and though the acoustics at the Silver Dollar do not typically bode well for the louder bands, Nicholas sounded good, without being too loud that they lost the sound. The high energy songs with the strength of the sax and its jazzy overtones added character to the music.
The second band to take the stage was the Beverly’s, a band that is to be playing a few shows coming up recently in Toronto. An all-girl band that played rough garage punk, a genre theme that carried through to the rest of the bands with Nicholas Double You & the B Squad the only band with a different sound. For the Beverly’s, even the screaming feedback that announced their beginning was good. Like, what is a good punk band without some good screaming feedback? Like the Pixies meeting Rage Against the Machine, the band played a nice instrumental opening, with quiet quiet vocals following until the tech guy turned them up. The lead singer looked at the audience with this frightened innocence, which was intriguing for a punk band. The vocals were shared, which seems to be a pretty consistent trend. Perhaps it is no longer the trend for bands to be identified by their lead vocalist’s distinctive voice.
Fleabite, the third band, was automatically very Ramones-y, but heavier, with that heavy, grunge-y guitar that had become the norm for the night. The crowd moved like a tide, leaving the room between acts only to return with the next act. A lot of the bands (most, if not all of them) were not very well-known. In other words, there was not a Wikipedia page among them, they were refreshing underground punk girls. Fleabite played a good guitar, but the well-warmed monday night crowd was pretty quiet.
When Potty Mouth finally took the stage, the crowd had expanded slightly, perhaps doubled, since Nicholas Double You. But if Potty Mouth could teach the audience anything, it’ wasn’t that large crowds prove for a better performance, but that feedback can be nicely controlled. The band has been described as “indie pop meets punk,” which seems like a pair of the most conflicting genres, but it’s their very differences that allow them to work together so well. Potty Mouth was more melodic and less scream-y, though still relatively monotonous as per punk band usual. A hair-flip segued into the next song, progressing into the speedier punk songs the genre is proud of, and the band managed to enliven the flagging crowd.
Emily Fox | @foxyfoxe