Rivoli 334 Queen Street West, Toronto

When I heard that Young Rival were playing their last local date for a while before they take off for their European tour, I knew I couldn’t miss it!

I was excited to roadtrip it to Toronto and return to the Rivoli, having only been once before, years ago. The venue is where Canadian comedy legends Kids in the Hall got their start performing, before landing their t.v. show. I’m a crazy-huge fan of those guys, and even met Dave Foley for the first time at Rivoli. It brought back great memories to see it again.

Taken with Instagram.
Taken with Instagram.

The event was presented by Jack Daniels, so I made sure to drink a little J.D. while enjoying the night. It was a Hammertown affair as Toledo opened the show. I caught their set at this past Supercrawl, but still need to formally meet the band. They’ve got a fun, upbeat rock’n’roll sound and just released an EP Years Without Focus a few months ago. We were bopping along throughout their set and they got the crowd all warmed up.


I was also happy to see friends Brendan McCarney and Mike Gillespie. The co-founders of Last Frame Pictures had just wrapped editing on their latest documentary, Authentic, all about Young Rival. They started working on it and got some of their first footage during Supercrawl 2011. I’m really excited to see it! Young Rival couldn’t be nicer and it must have been a blast being on the road with them while filming.




Of course, Young Rival, as always, put on an amazing show. They are so solid and easily one of my top Hamilton bands, and even beyond that. I never know who to watch – Aron D’Alesio, John Smith, and Noah Fralick are so talented and are thoroughly entertaining to watch.

Every song off their latest, Stay Young, is so good, and they also played their older classics too. The venue filled in and the audience loved every minute of their set. Among the audience were members of Hollerado, Stella Ella Ola, and Wildlife, who I mingled a bit with after.

I wish Young Rival all the best on their European tour and look forward to hearing about their international travels!

– Kristin

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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