Concert Review: The Honeyrunners and Ivory Hours @ The Horseshoe Tavern

The Honeyrunners
A friend of mine introduced me to Ivory Hours a few months ago – immediately upon looking them up, I was attracted to them as they’re an optimistic alt-pop band from London, Ontario. The band just released their 3rd EP and siblings Luke and Annie Roes have a dynamic positive energy– their stage presence was contagious! When they began their set at the Horseshoe, a few dozen of us were around the stage in a semi circle – but once they started jamming out to their set with ear-to-ear grins, it was hard not to dance along with them. A casual and relaxed Annie kicked off her flats while she played the keys – and Luke lifted our spirits with his long hair and two-step dance moves while he absolutely mastered the guitar during his solos. Despite having their EP on repeat in my car, my kitchen, my patio since it dropped on June 3rd, their live show still had added value because of the jam packed personality of these two. Gratitude swept over their smiles as they just finished being on the road for countless hours – playing gigs like the Lachie Music Festival and Wild Mountain Music Festival.

Their EP, “Mary” has got it all: bouncy, danceable listening for the hazy days of summer. I particularly like the chorus in the track Young Blood , its a strong comment on the culture of today “Oh, whats happenin’ to me; I have it all but I’m not happy”. I love how the rhythm and groove somehow disguises Luke’s moody lyrics exploring episodes of love, loss and depression. Check out their music video for Mary: it will make you want to do some choreography alongside the dynamite color-pop backdrops and the fancy extras, that track is indisputably the showstopper – when they played it, some of their friends went bananas!

They were opening for the headliners that night The Honeyrunners – a sticky, sweaty, soul-drenched rock-and-roll band that released their 2nd with triumphant excitement! A supremely awesome time was had by all– especially since it was Marcus’ birthday –those boys sure know how to work up a crowd. Their music was refreshingly harmonized at key moments and the lead vocalist – also on keys – held nothing back. These men have a definite look to them – rugged, smoking hot, sweaty, I enjoyed the aesthetic surprise of Dan Dwoskin (Keys/Lead Vox), Marcus Bucci (Guitar/Vox), Brandon Robins (Drums/Vox) and Mike Bolton (Bass/Vox). At first glance, they looked a little mismatched, but it was without a doubt a deceiving combo – they are hard-hitting raw-motown punk-soul alchemists. My description doesn’t offer them justice – The Honeyrunners must be experienced! It was my first time hearing them and seeing them live, and I found myself kicking off my shoes to get my full groove on in the middle of the dancefloor (some would argue that it was unsanitary, but I know what I’m doing – it’s all in the name of good rock and roll).

I enjoyed the way there was mega bro-love on the floor when the band sang the track Hold Me. These men abandoned their girlfriends or wives and held onto one another – the added bonus of the sing-along was super fun and I enjoyed getting to know the people around me. The show just went on and on – and the members of the other bands were right in the center of the party as well – they rocked out just as hard as the night went on and I realized I had forgotten where I left my shoes (which corner was it, again?). My brief absent-mindedness and the smile on my face was a true testament to a good time. I definitely recommend grabbing the EP’s from both of these bands as soon as possible. The Honeyrunners play the Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival on August 10th at Steam Whistle Brewery.

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Review by Stefanie Romano | @stefaloves

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