Swervedriver hit Lee’s Palace in Toronto on Friday night, the only Canadian date on their 16-stop tour, during which the band is performing their first two LPs, Raise and Mezcal Head, in their entirety. Joining front-man Adam Franklin in front of a packed house was Jimmy Hartridge on lead guitar, Mikey Jones on drums, and Mick Quinn (best known as the founding member of Supergrass) on bass.
Often lumped into the Shoegaze genre, Swervedriver are more on the heavy side with a sound that could be likened to Psychedelic and Alternative rock, more so than Shoegaze. Their soundscapes are epic in scope and are complimented by Franklin’s clear vocals that don’t get lost in the noise. Unlike past Swervedriver gigs I’ve been to in which crowd surfing and even mosh pits have formed, the crowd was comprised of blissed-out fans that enjoyed the music with eyes closed and heads back, relishing in the wave of guitars that washed over them. Franklin, a man of few words, let the music do the talking as he and the band delivered a blistering 2-hours of music.
Highlights from Raise included “Sci-Flyer”, “Rave Down”, and “Sandblasted”, while “Duel”, “Last Train to Satansville”, and “Duress” were memorable moments from the Mezcal Head set. The band will be on the road until September 24th, so check them out if you can.
9/14 Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro
9/15 Terminal West, Atlanta
9/16 The Social, Orlando
9/17 Siberia, New Orleans
9/18 Trees, Dallas
9/19 3ten Austin City Limits Live, Austin
9/21 191 Toole, Tucson
9/22 Casbah, San Diego
9/23 Bimbo’s 365 Club, San Francisco
9/24 The Teragram Ballroom, Los Angeles
Review and photos by Dave MacIntyre