Sitting above London Music Hall, Rum Runners is an intimate venue located in London, Ontario that has been hosting musicians and live performers since 2005. Rum Runners has hosted a variety of performers such as Knocked Loose, Like Pacific, The Ditry Nil, Cancer Bats and many more. On October 13th, 2022, they hosted Hello Kelly, Goodnight Sunrise and Monowhales.
London, Ontario locals, Hello Kelly, started the show with so much joy and enthusiasm, you could feel it radiating throughout the venue for the entirety if the evening. Hello Kelly titles themselves the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles of post-emo rock” with a twist of dread and glam.
Emerging from a 10-year hiatus, Hello Kelly dazzled the crowd with their animated, uplifting sound and bright smiles. They performed as if they have been performing together for years. During their set, bassist Cormac Elmes gave an impassioned speech about the magic of Saturday mornings, your favourite cereal, and your favourite cartoons. He had the audience look to the person they came with and say “it’s Saturday morning when I’m with you” before they performed their utter banger “Saturday Morning” that was the perfect mix of nostalgia and love.
Front-man Francois “Francy” Goudreault was the star of the show as he gave off a swagger that can be described as Jack Black energy. Francy proved this when Hello Kelly did their cover of “School of Rock (Teacher’s Pet) and absolutely blew it out of the water and added the narrative of nostalgia-rock that you can expect from a Hello Kelly show. With their infectious spirits, Hello Kelly was the perfect band to kick-off the evening.
Second to perform was the Toronto, Ontario band Goodnight Sunrise and they immediately captured attention with their bedazzled, personally branded keytar and insane vivacity. Goodnight Sunrise is the perfect blend of classic rock, alternative rock and pop hooks that makes for an explosive live show. Vanessa Vakharia is a rock diva powerhouse with her fierce fashion, knees of steel, and incredible passion for her craft. It was legendary watching someone slay a keytar the way she did, and Vanessa ate the stage.
David Kochberg is her perfect counterpart with his skilled guitar playing, infectious stage presence and harmonious vocals that make it very evident why they are in a group together. The entire band carried such a magnetic energy it was hard to keep focus on just one of the members. Goodnight Sunrise gave an emotional testimonial for women’s rights in Iran and the importance of never giving up on your dreams. This is especially important because the crowd consisted of mainly LGBTQ+ youth and young girls, who have a history of struggling for human rights.
This group of dynamos gave a cover of Rockin’ in the Free World by Neil Young that went so hard, it absolutely left the crowd begging for more. They were an excellent addition for this show and it was a pleasure to discover them.
The final performers of the night were the Juno Award winning band, Monowhales, who originate from Toronto, Ontario. Monowhales can be described as a sonic gut punch of alternative rock and pop. They have a unique and recognizable sound, insatiable vivacity and energizer bunny personalities and great personal style.
With an unforgettable introduction that you could feel ruminating through your entire body, Monowhales came out with an explosive performance where they left everything they had on that stage. Lead singer Sally Shaar is a fireball. Sally has an incredible ability to connect with her individual fans during her entire set while still serving it to all the concert attendees. You could see on so many of their faces how important and impactful she is to them. The cardiovascular health on this woman is so impressive and contagious that you can’t help but feed off her high-energy. She gives a Beyonce level performance with her immaculate live vocals and perfectly timed dance moves.
Guitarist Zach Zanardo was absolutely drenched in sweat while he gave some of the most passionate solos I am yet to witness at a show to this day. Jordan Circosta gives off so much vigor behind the drumkit. It was such a pleasant surprise when he got out from behind the kit and shared his vocals in a gorgeous duet with Sally. Monowhales closed their set with a cover of The Hand That Feeds by Nine Inch Nails that one could argue was even better than the originals.
This group had such an amazing chemistry and I absolutely fell in love with them. Their heart shined through, and it made for an unforgettable show that impacted their London fans for years to come. If there is ever a Monowhales show nearby, you would be missing out on undeniably amazing show if you chose not to attend. Monowhales gained a new fan and I look forward to see where the future takes them.
Monowhales / Goodnight Sunrise / Hello Kitty
Oct. 13, 2022
All photos by Dan Boshart