Concert Review // King Tuff @ The Opera House

King Tuff // The Opera House // 29.09.13

King Tuff

After Jacuzzi Boys and before Wavves, Kyle Thomas (King Tuff himself) and the bassist carried an oversized flag onto the stage of Toronto’s The Opera House. The posts were topped with metal bats, and the flag itself featured a grinning, hypnotic-sunglass wearing likeness of King Tuff. Stars in his hair, a blue-and-white striped background—you knew it was going to be all American and all rock. That’s not really surprising, since King Tuff (in the bio of his Burger Records profile) described the sound Was Dead (2008) as a “pure Vermont Rock and Roll record.”

On stage in a jean vest with KING TUFF studded on the back and a snapback with “ME MAKE ROCK ROLL” stitched in, the band (appropriately) kicked their set off with “Anthem,” the opening track of their 2012 self-titled album.

It didn’t take long for the crowd to immerse themselves in the music. There was no barrier set up between band and audience, so anyone who wanted to crowd surf had to hoist him or herself up on stage, and then dive back into the crowd. And people did just that, over and over and over again, the “woof woofs” of “Stranger” getting a particularly strong reaction.

The bass player, through nods and grins, sanctioned all of the crowd surfing. At the end of a song, King Tuff even called out one girl who had done innumerable dives and invited her back on stage. Do you promise to always be so rock and roll? He asked her, before gracing her with a handcrafted sun medallion necklace, an icon of Tuff’s and the name of the third track off of Was Dead (2008).

The band also played a personal favourite off of Was Dead, “Connection,” before capping off the night with “Bad Thing,” a song with a killer chorus (“Cause all I ever wanted, was everything / And now I’m being haunted, by those things”) that stays true to Tuff’s goal of pure rock and roll.

For concert photos of King Tuff and WAVVES, click here.

Leah Edwards | @leahhedwards

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