WORDS BY: SCOTT CRUICKSHANK
It wasn’t just the chill of winter that swept into town Friday November 14th, The Ataris’ You Call The Shots North American Tour was rolling through, making their Toronto stop at the one and only Lee’s Palace, with special guests Teenage Kicks and Sweet and Lowdown.
Kicking off the night were openers and Toronto based locals Sweet and Lowdown. The four piece band pumped out some extremely hooky Indie rock inspired sounds, and are definitely worth a listen if you haven’t already given them a shot. Check out their two releases on their bandcamp; “Is This Working?” and “Pomegranates”.
The second act to take over Lee’s stage was none other than Teenage Kicks. Founding members and brothers Peter van Helmholtz and Jeff van Helmholtz, make up the only seemingly permanent members of Teenage Kicks. Having toured with the likes of Sloan, and AWOLNATION, these Toronto based boys are no strangers to touring with big acts and surely know how to put on a great show, belting out songs that make you want to bob your head and sing along. The three piece played mostly newer songs off of their most recent release Spoils of Youth, which I would highly recommend checking out on their bandcamp.
To cap off the night, the act we had all been patiently waiting for finally went on at Lee’s, the Indiana boys, The Ataris. This tour definitely had high hopes from fans as the band decided to do an all request “you call the shots” set list, asking fans to vote for which songs they wanted to hear. Celebrating 10 years of the bands most successful album release, So Long, Astoria singer/songwriter Kris Roe brought together the former So Long, Astoria lineup, minus the most recent member addition of drummer Erick Perkins, who was still rumored to be learning the bands songs gradually while they were on the road in order to meet fans requests, pretty impressive and “rock and roll” in this reviewers opinion!
The band played songs new and old for a packed crowd, including fan favourites: “I Won’t Spend Another Night Alone”, “Boys of Summer”, “Looking Back on Today”, and “Summer Rain”. Singer Kris Roe let it slip that they’re last song was only pretend, and shortly after asked the crowd if they wanted to hear more songs, answered with a roaring round of applause. The band proceeded to play a two song encore consisting of “San Dimas Highschool Football Rules” and “All Souls’ Day”.
Another great show and lineup at Lee’s Palace, and another satisfied reviewer. Couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off winter than an indie/punk rock fiesta.