Deep into February most people are dreaming about the beach, or if you were stuck in London this past Sunday you may have gone to see The Beaches to forget your February blahs. The band hit London on their headlining The Professional Tour 2020 with opening acts Fade Awaays and Goodbye Honolulu.
Opening with the song Snake Tongue from their most recent EP the Professional, the four fashionable ladies who not surprisingly all hail from The Beaches neighborhood of Toronto, set the tone for the night. These girls rock, and they do it their own way. The lyrics in Snake Tongue send a strong message that they’re not going to be pushed around. People in the recording industry tried to push them in a pop direction but they resisted and lucky for us. Their music is guitar driven old school rock and roll with a little bit of attitude and a lot of fun!
The band were openers for Glorious Sons in 2018 and last year were part of the opening lineup for The Stones’ only Canadian tour stop at Burl’s Creek. I thought they were good opening for The Stones but were kind of lost on that huge outdoor stage. This time headlining the 1600 person capacity London Music hall, they owned the stage. Jordan Miller (bass), Kylie Miller (guitar), Leandra Earl (keyboards, guitar) and Eliza Enman-McDaniel are all very capable musicians and took several turns at solos, jumping up on platforms to lean out to the audience.
Songs like Moment, Back Of My Heart and Sweet Life from 2017’s Late Show album are classic hard rockers that belie their retro fashion and sweet innocent appearance. It’s a refreshing change from the same old that so many bands seem to be these days and it’s exciting to see. The one twist in the night was a cover of Kylie Minogue’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head. I thought that was the one flat spot in the whole night. Kylie Miller’s vocals seemed a little pitchy and it just didn’t fit for me.
The crowd was really into the show all night and most evident late in the show during the song Money with everyone singing along loudly to “I need to make some money, need to make money, woo! woo!” Visually the stage show was really cool with a lot of moving back and side lighting and fog and the girls seldom stood still, jumping and kicking and interacting with each other most of the night.
The band won Breakthrough Group of the Year at the 2018 Junos but I feel like this may really be their year. With a hot new EP and in the midst of their headlining Canadian tour there feels like a tremendous energy there that’s about to explode. The band next heads out on a US tour beginning May 22 in Asbury Park, NJ with Awolnation.
Starting the all-Toronto band night was Fade Awaays. The young alt rock quartet impressed with their stage energy and got the early crowd moving. The band mixes gritty guitars and melodic harmonies for a punk garage band sound that was the perfect choice for openers on this tour. Second up, Goodbye Honolulu, an alt/punk/pop outfit with a hard to peg sound that has hints of classic rock, alternate, funk, punk, and a little bit of everything else. Their music bounces between screaming guitar riffs and gentle melodies, sometimes all within the same song. Both openers shared a set of drums with both band names on the front, something I’ve never seen before but I thought it was kind of cool.
All photos by Dan Boshart: