October 30, 2012 – The Bright Light Social Hour are from Austin, Texas, but Toronto feels like home. Well I expect they’d probably say the same thing in Portland, Oregon or Cincinnati, Ohio, but in this case you could probably believe them. In March, they played the Supermarket during Canadian Music Week, they were back in June for NXNE at the Horseshoe Tavern and the Sound of Music Festival in Burlington. In July the played an incredible free show at Yonge Dundas Square (article here) and the Hillside Festival in Guelph. On Wednesday, October 24th, they played The Danforth Music Hall on a bill with Umphrey’s McGee.
|Jack O’Brien and A.J. Vincent|
It’s safe to say the band now has a very large and rapidly growing fan base in the Greater Toronto Area. And why not? This is an exceptional band that plays great live shows and is equally adept in the studio recording great music.
We covered TBLSH in their hometown of Austin, Texas. You can read about that show here. T-MAK World even went as far as to include The Bright Light Social Hour as one our Must See shows of 2012. The Bright Light Social Hour crosses musical styles and demographics, their music appeals to everyone from the hipsters to headbangers.
I was fortunate enough to be behind the barrier with photo pit access and noticed a distinct difference in the crowds for the two shows. For The Bright Light Social Hour, the crowd at the rail was almost exclusively cheering young ladies whereas the crowd for Umphrey McGee was predominantly male, which is pretty normal for typical rock shows. That’s not at all to suggest that the audience for TBLSH was mostly female, it’s just that the men in the crowd were pushed aside by the girls eager to get up close to see the band.
TBLSH has some killer high energy songs, Bare Hands Bare Feet and Back and Forth being stand outs as well as my favourite, Maybe I Do, which has a hypnotic groove that builds and builds throughout the song until they reach a crazy crescendo with the crowd going nuts. You simply can’t keep still during this song. They stretch out some other songs for longer jams with some sublime playing from the four supremely talented musicians.
Based on their history of 2012, we would hope and expect to see The Bright Light Social Hour at least a couple times in 2013 and when they come back we will strongly recommend catching the band live. Better to see them now in an intimate club setting than pay through the nose later to see them from the third deck of the Air Canada Centre.
Review and photos by Steve Mallinson