Concert Review: The Focus UK Showcase @ The Rivoli – Toronto

The Hot Sprockets
The Hot Sprockets | Photo by Rob Benson

On a chilly Saturday night at Rivoli, European talent captivated the crowd during Indie Week 2014.

The Focus UK Showcase was unlike any other, hailing acts from all over Europe, and even two local bands: UNQUIET NIGHTS, De’Nova, The Toniks, New City Kings, The Micronite Filters, The Stogies and The Hot Sprockets. The crowd was small, but intimate making the atmosphere seem as though you were just visiting some friends. Each band performed a unique set, all making sure to express how grateful they were to be apart of Indie Week in Toronto.

In particular, I couldn’t help but take note of The Toniks, especially after I saw their cheeky message on AMBY. They opened with their song, You And I to get the crowd pumped up for their set. Their songs were catchy and uplifting. They performed Scapegoat, Wonderful Then and closed with Rise and Shine, all songs off their “Rise and Shine” EP.

After The Toniks performed, Indie Week Ireland 2011 winners, New City Kings took the stage. By this time, most of the audience was sitting at their tables and enjoying some drinks; however, lead singer Mark Kovic, encouraged everyone in the audience to stand up and dance. He was very successful in doing so because when the last song rolled around almost everyone at Rivoli was standing and really enjoying the music.

It was not One Direction mania with screaming and crying girls but rather a mature crowd sharing the same passion for the love of music. “ I always love going to the Rivoli for the intimate atmosphere,” said Kovic. They energetically performed their single Giving Up, and songs from their debut EP Change.

New City Kings stated they feel right at home when performing in Toronto. Their unique name stems from a time when they first performed in Toronto and stayed on King Street and performed as The Suburians. Now their name as changed, and they have grown bigger and better than ever.

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Review by Sarah Brown | @SarahBrown03

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