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Concert Review: Hey Rosetta!

24-Nov-2008 01:00 AM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
Hey Rosetta!
Hey Rosetta!
The Horseshoe in Toronto, Ontario on November 19, 2008
Full Photo Set (14 photos)

It's not often that absolutely everything comes together in a band: Brilliant musicianship, excellent vocals, interesting compositions, strong stage presence, and a set of songs that clearly demonstrates it all. But Hey Rosetta! has all of that. It's bands like this that keep me going out to the shows, that keep my camera in my hand, and confirm that the Canadian music industry is something that the world should care about.

Hey Rosetta!  Hey Rosetta!

More than a few people have pointed me toward Hey Rosetta! in the past year or so, and like in many other cases, I was slow to respond. As a result, they've been sitting in my listening queue for a long time. It was a chance meeting with Tim Baker (vocals, guitar, piano) at the Tattoo Rock Parlour that reminded me to get the Hey Rosetta! CD into my iTunes and give it a listen. And so the very first time I heard any Hey Rosetta! song was on November 14th, just 5 days before the show at The Horseshoe. The album made a very good impression on me. The concert, however, made a huge impression on me. There are some great bands that play excellent live shows, but then there are those bands whose performances change the way you hear their music, and Hey Rosetta! is in that category for me, with the likes of Okkervil River, The Hold Steady, and The Frames.

Hey Rosetta!  Hey Rosetta!  Hey Rosetta!

In fact, there is an association with the Irish band The Frames that became apparent over the course of the night. This association isn't just the passing similarities in vocals and style, which definitely exists; it has to do with the feeling the band projects, the way they go about their shows, the way the band interacts with the crowd, and the way the fans react. It's the way music should be, and the effect that concerts should have on the participants. And even though I'll admit there were a few slow points in the middle of the show, those points were far overshadowed by the brilliant moments, the conviction of their performance, and the strength of the musicianship.

Hey Rosetta!  Hey Rosetta!

The set list included most, if not all, of the songs from their full-length album Into Your Lungs, as well as a few older songs. Some women behind me kept calling for the band to play Another Pilot, so when Baker finally announced the song, a bit of joyful screaming came from the audience. And during the encore, another request was shouted out from the audience to which Baker replied "Yeah, alright, I think we have time". Whether they had already planned on playing that song, I'm not sure, but either way it added nicely to mood of the room. A few of the members from the band Oh No Forest Fires, who opened the night and could be seen enjoying the show from side-stage, seemed unable to stop themselves from jumping up to occasionally assist with backup vocals. Their excitement was well directed, especially during the amazing rendition of New Goodbye. Other songs of note were I've Been Asleep For A Long, Long Time and There's An Arc that were both adrenaline inducing for me, and even the song Holy Shit (What A Relief) with its potential for scatological interpretation was definitely a musical highlight.

Hey Rosetta!  Hey Rosetta!  Hey Rosetta!

The next opportunity to see Hey Rosetta! will be when they open for Hawksley Workman on November 28th at Massy Hall. Then they'll be taking their show to Australia in January, likely made possible by the prize money they received from winning the Album Of The Year award at the Verge Music Awards in September. Hopefully we'll see more Toronto dates from this East Coast band starting in February.

Info: Hey Rosetta! | Connect: MySpace, Facebook
Media: New Goodbye (mp3), I've Been Asleep For A Long, Long Time (mp3)

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