The Casbah 306 King Street West
After some exclusive chitchat at an interview with 93.3 CFMU, Dave Monks took to the town to play an intimate show at The Casbah. His first mini-tour since the Tokyo Police Club singer’s release of his solo EP, he had high hopes to introduce himself in a more personal light.
“I want people to know me,” Dave states earlier in his interview with Kristin Archer. He spoke about the conversation-style intimacy that distinguished his performance without the band, light shows and big room audiences. He promised vibes, an entire “18-wheeler full of vibes” to be exact, and as a long-time Tokyo Police Club fan, I was not disappointed.
After first discovering them years ago for their t-shirt collaboration with the Yellow Bird Project, the first time I saw Tokyo Police Club live was on my first date with my boyfriend Cory. We caught them in Hamilton at the Molson Canadian Studio last December and then again with the Sheepdogs for the JUNO kickoff show at Liuna Station. I was very excited to hear that the lead singer from the Newmarket’s band would be returning to Hamilton to promote his solo EP All Signs Point to Yes at The Casbah.
Starting off the night was Hamilton’s very own Chrisy Hurn from Basement Revolver who had the crowd in a peaceful, attentive silence as she strummed melodic melodies with a soft, and innocent flare. She concluded her set with a sweet little tune about Hamilton, setting the stage for a very intimate night of music.
Up next was Brooklyn’s Fort Lean, a 5-piece band with energy bursting from their fingertips. Serenading the crowd, and winning over all the ladies in the front row, they made you want to sing along even if you didn’t know any lyrics. During Dave’s interview earlier he spoke about the band and how guitarist Zach Fried ended up as his roommate when Dave moved to New York. Check out the full interview here. You could really feel the good vibes this group brought when they took the stage, lightly poking fun at one another, laughing, dancing and jamming like we were all at a basement house party. Catchy guitar riffs, an eager drummer and a band full of livelihood, lead singer Keenan brags “I bought this shirt here, I’m going to remember this place forever.”
After mingling around the bar as an audience member, Dave finally took to the stage and jumped right into his first track “Summer Dream.” Joined by drummer Adam Hindle who has played with Dwayne Gretzky and Born Ruffians, as well as the familiar face of Tokyo Police Club keyboardist Graham Wright, Dave fulfilled his promise of creating conversations with the audience through his music. Following with some tracks off the new EP he played “Vegas,” “The Rules,” “Miss You” (highlighting an Ontario shout-out), and then slowed things down to tell us a story about the song he wrote for Tokyo Police Club’s guitarist Josh Hook. Complimenting his bandmate on his mysterious and sexy nature, he sang a song of true brotherhood enough to bring warm fuzzies to all of our hearts.
Continuing with the story telling, Dave next took on a track that he wrote about a crush he had when he was younger. He gushed about this hottie on the school bus that was somehow convinced that Led Zeppelin was better than the Beatles. With some playful debate and a mixtape exchange, Dave’s musical taste was forever changed. She had won the everlasting battle of the school-bus mixtapes, and he had written a song all about it. Bringing the house back to their own Tokyo nostalgia, he played some classic tracks like “Favourite Colour,” and “Citizens of Tomorrow” before welcoming back one of the top tracks on his solo EP, “Gasoline” and one of the very first songs he wrote after Tokyo finished up their last album Forcefield, “Heartbreak Blues.”
It was crazy to imagine the album came out less than two weeks prior to the show but there was a chorus of voices that knew every word to his songs. He finished off the set with a quirky little tune about a homeless lady that used to live on his street. The track was called “No Teeth.”
Stage lights shut out as we all anticipated the encore that followed. Dave strolled back on stage to perform Tokyo Police Club’s “Hands Reversed,” and right when we felt satisfied with the awesome show that had just unravelled, Max Kerman from the Arkells joined Graham and Dave on stage for a cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s “American Girl.” Seeing two of my own all-time favourite musicians share the stage is one of those experiences that I’ll always remember. It was a treat to party with such talented artists in The Casbah’s warm and intimate atmosphere.
A night full of dancing shoes, goose-bump-worthy ballads, and musical conversations with Dave Monks and friends.
The Set list:
1 – Summer Dream
2 – Vegas
3 – The Rules
4 – Miss You
5 – Favourite Colour (Tokyo Police Club)
6 – Citizens of Tomorrow (Tokyo Police Club)
7 – Gasoline
8 – Heartbeat Blues
9 – No Teeth
10 – Hands Reversed (Tokyo Police Club)
11 – American Girl (Cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)