Photography & Words By: Adam R. Harrison
Canadian rock n’ roll icons, Sam Roberts Band made a stop at Toronto’s REBEL nightclub on a foggy Friday night to kick off the tour for their sixth studio album, TerraForm. The newly renovated Polson Pier venue was packed with fans spanning multiple generations, from newcomers to those born in a flame. But whether you’ve seen them a dozen times before or it was your very first Sam Roberts show, the boys from Montreal never disappoint when it comes to a good ol’ rock n’ roll show.
Opening the evening were every Canadian’s favourite backyard band, Hollerado. The four piece from the nation’s capital are always up for kicking off a party and that they did, playing a selection of radio hits including “Juliette,” “Americanarama,” and their latest single “Born Yesterday.” Despite the lack of beer pong and flip cup, there was definite frat party vibe to the 45-minute set, which closed out with “So It Goes.”
After a short break Sam himself took to the stage, opening with “Rogue Empire” off TerraForm. With a fairly large catalogue to choose from now, The Sam Roberts Band had no problem filling an impressive 105-minute set. Made up of about one third new material and the balance an even mix from the previous five albums.
On a very important day in human history (inauguration day), Roberts took a minute to encourage his fans to start a movement for peace, equality and love. Appropriately followed up with “Where Have All The Good People Gone?” from his debut album. Other main set highlights included “Bridge to Nowhere,” “Fixed to Ruin,” and his catchy new single “If You Want It.” Most of which were accompanied by extended jam sessions to support their veteran status.
The band returned for an inspiring five song, 30-minute encore that concluded with the crowd pleasing, “Brother Down.” After seventeen years together, Sam Roberts Band has become an exceptionally tight unit that shows no signs of slowing down. With rock shows like these, it is no wonder their fans keep coming back for more, even if they’ve seen them half a dozen times before.