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The Golden Dogs

06-Jun-2008 03:20 AM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
The Golden Dogs
The Horseshoe in Toronto, Ontario
Photos and Review by: Pete Nema
The Golden Dogs
By Divine Right
Major Grange
May 30, 2008
Full Photo Set (20 photos)

Back in Toronto after a tour in the U.K., and just before starting a tour with Sloan that will take them through the Eastern U.S., The Golden Dogs played two nights in a row at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern. This is a band not to miss when they play here in Toronto, and I wish I could've been for there both nights, but Saturday was out, which meant Friday night was the ticket for me.

The Golden Dogs

Ever since catching The Golden Dogs open for Cracker back in 2006, I've been getting out to see them whenever I can. This is a band that have been included my "Best Of" articles for both 2006 and 2007, once for their album Big Eye Little Eye, the other for blowing away the crowd at a sold-out Lee's Palace show. The show at The Horseshoe started out with one noticeable change, Neil Quin (guitar) wasn't on stage with the other four band members. I found out afterwards that Neil is no longer playing with The Golden Dogs mostly due to touring conflicts, but possibly also because he's focusing on his current band Major Grange (see below). The lack of Neil did change the sound a bit, but because most of the sound and visuals are provided by Dave Azzolini (vocals, guitar) and Jessica Grassia (keyboards, vocals), the show was still amazing. Based on a few comments I've received, it sounds like the Saturday show topped the Friday night, eliciting some of the same reactions that they pulled at Lee's.

The Golden Dogs
The Golden Dogs
The Golden Dogs

The stage layout was a little different with Dave placed off to one side and Jess on the other side. Variety is good, but I prefer it with Dave taking centre stage, a setup that gives him ample room to rock out like he does. The set list had a good variety of fan favourites like Dynamo, Yeah!, and their cover of 1985 as well as a quite a few new songs. Does this mean they'll be headed into the studio soon? Jessica says not quite yet, but possibly in the fall. Which means that for fans like me, it's still a while before we'll see a new CD release... until then, all we can do is watch for more concert dates and get to know the new songs before they're even recorded.

The Golden Dogs
The Golden Dogs
The Golden Dogs

Info: The Golden Dogs | Connect: MySpace

By Divine Right

By Divine Right took middle slot, with José Miguel Contreras (guitar, vocals) proving that he still knows his way around a pop-rock song. It's been so long since I've come across the band name By Divine Right that I didn't clue in that it was the same band that created the great album Bless This Mess, with the hit Come For A Ride. After the show, I spoke briefly to José and, as I was heading off, he mentioned that it was their first show. I was thinking that he meant the first show playing together (with Stewart Heyduk from The Golden Dogs on bass and Mitch Perkins on drums), but if Wikipedia can be trusted, that line-up played for the first time on New Year's Eve last year. So now I'm thinking José was just giving me a hard time since I was so obviously clueless (just like... always. Oh man, every day doing this is just like the first day... ever see that movie Memento? That's me.) Anyway, like most set lists, the music got stronger the deeper they got into it, and by the end of the set I was really enjoying it. Yup, I want to see more.

By Divine Right
By Divine Right
By Divine Right

Info & Connect: By Divine Right on MySpace

Major Grange

Major Grange is related to The Golden Dogs through Neil Quin on guitar and Taylor Knox on bass. At least those are the instruments they were playing this time around, with an unknown (to me) fourth dude on drums. The last time I saw them, when they opened for Joel Plaskett, Neil Quin was on drums. The sound was a little fuller this time, and some of the songs sounded a little more polished. Dave Dalrymple (vocals, guitar) and Knox trade-off the vocals, which provides some variety to the songs.

Major Grange
Major Grange
Major Grange

Major Grange
Major Grange
Major Grange

Info: Major Grange | Connect: MySpace

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The Golden Dogs
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