This Ain’t Hollywood 345 James Street North
Hollerado are one of my favourite bands to see live. The release of their second full length album, White Paint, took them on a mini tour of intimate club dates before hitting the road to open for Billy Talent. I was super stoked to see that they were playing The Saint, and on an Art Crawl night, to boot. The show sold out really quickly and the venue filled up early.
It’s a good thing the audience came early, because we were treated to the fun, pop-rock sounds of Dangerband, from Toronto. They’re a young band, with catchy tunes and were a fitting opener for the party. I was also impressed with their fashion sense – the Gwen Stefani tee sported by keyboard player Jacob was a hit with the crowd!
The crowd was loosening up even more as Topanga took the stage. I was excited to hear them again – it had been awhile. I didn’t manage to maneuver my way up for a decent picture, but you could feel the Toronto band’s energy right to the back of the venue. They’re a blast! I was enjoying their tweets before and during the show (including a trip to Jack & Lois and a Gorilla Cheese sighting). They also coined a new term – Slamjamilton. You’ll fit in just fine here, fellas!
Everyone was revved up for the Hollerado boys to take the stage. It was fun getting to hear the new material played live. They played their classics off Record in a Bag, but the bulk of it was new stuff. They even debuted one for the very first time live, “Thanks For The Venom,” a favourite of mine off the album. That said, it’s extremely difficult to pick a favourite tune from this album; it’s so solid from start to finish. Introducing “Don’t Think,” Menno dedicated it to Young Rival drummer Noah. The song title was said by Noah during a bit of writer’s block, which served as inspiration.
At one point, Menno mentioned that Dean and Jake were thinking about moving to Hamilton (I think I remember them saying this when I saw them last at Supercrawl, too). Dean chimed in that they would move here for August 8 alone. The sushi favourite is still on my to-do list. I encourage you to make the move, guys!
A staple of any Hollerado show is obviously the confetti, so it was no surprise to see the burst of colour as streamers and confetti rained down a couple of times during their set. One piece of streamer got caught on the ceiling fan and whipped around with it for the remainder of the show.
The band sure know how to throw a party. They had so much energy throughout their set – which kept going and going because the crowd kept asking for more. We got a drum solo by Jake, and the tricks continued as Nixon hoisted himself up onto Menno’s shoulders and then transferred over to Dean’s shoulders (all the while the three continued playing!) Some audience members started crowd surfing and even Menno got into the action, tossing himself on top of the crowd.
They played one of my favourites of theirs, “Got To Lose,” during the encore, but then moved into some covers, asking the crowd what we wanted to hear. From Blink 182’s “Dammit” to Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls,” it was quite the mix. And it was awesome.
After the show I moseyed on over to the merch table to buy a copy of White Paint. Like their debut Record in a Bag, a lot of thought was put into the artwork and physical packaging of the CDs and vinyl. It’s a lost art, now in the digital age, and Hollerado continue to find ways to set themselves apart. Each album is uniquely hand painted, so no two look alike. Opening it up, some flecks of white paint scattered on my desk and I got a whiff of the paint, like it’s a homemade art project. Check out the band’s White Paint Party (shot by my friends at Last Frame Pictures) and see how they were made. I spy Young Rival bassist John Smith among the painters!
When you get the chance to visit Holleradoland, don’t pass it up! Check out my footage of the show below.