It was still light out when people started to arrive at the Biltmore on this Wednesday evening. Both bands on the bill had recently returned to Canada after selling out shows in LA, San Francisco and Seattle on Born Ruffians’ album release tour. The early arrivals had time to enjoy a few pints before the curtains cleared and openers Young Rival took the stage.
The Hamilton trio of Aron D’Alesio, Noah Fralick and John Smith also released an album recently and were quick to show why it received so much good press. Young Rival’s laid-back, rock ‘n’ roll sound could just as easily accompany a lazy day at the beach as get bodies moving on a warm summer evening. They finished with “Authentic,” a recent iTunes Single of the Week and one of the catchier songs you’ll hear this year.
Born Ruffians came on after a short intermission and immediately seemed intent on bringing everyone in the venue to the stage. Luke LaLonde’s whooping vocals accentuated Mitch Derosier and Steven Hamelin’s jerky melodies to get hands in the air and feet moving. While the songs from recent release Say It didn’t stick as well as their previous work, Born Ruffians’ energy never dwindled. In fact, the show seemed to pick up steam as it went on, driving the crowd into a frenzy by the time the Toronto-based band was wrapping up with foot-stomper “Badonkadonkey” and the cheerful “Foxes Mate For Life.” By the end of “I Need A Life,” they were facing a mob chanting the chorus: “Oh, but we go out at night!” Oh, do we ever.