The Glorious Sons took the stage to massive applause and excitement from a crowd that had been waiting two hours for them. Decked out in ridiculous rock-chic apparel, lead singer Brett Emmons took the stage in a busy printed blazer (I’m pretty sure my mom has a table runner that matches) with fuzzy green cuffs, big round sunglasses and a bandanna snapped together on his forehead. Next to him, Chris Koster dawned a massive fluffy white coat beside the rest of the band, dressed in their regular blue collar outfits- jeans, tees, jackets. What followed was nothing short of spectacular.
Their first song “My Poor Heart” off Young Beauties and Fools kicked off the evening with a bang. Brett amped the crowd up, dancing with his tongue hanging lazily out of his mouth as he made individual, direct eye contact with his audience. Jumping up and down, the crowd was eager to be pleased from the get-go. The first half of the set was heavily Young Beauty and Fools, featuring new tracks like “Shotgun”, “Josie” and the harder “Godless, Graceless and Young”. For a band whose tour only officially kicked off the previous evening, these songs were well done but still had the raw edge you pray doesn’t get lost through out a tour.
The Glorious Sons also sprinkled two unreal covers into their set. A rendition of “Praise You” by Fatboy Slim plastered a smile across the whole crowd’s face as they sang the familiar lyrics and got into a groove. With just the right amount of funk, this was a fantastic cover that made one feel pretty damn reminiscent. The second cover came towards the end of the night when the band performed The Rolling Stone’s “Gimme Shelter”. Channeling his inner Mick Jagger, Brett Emmons shimmied as brother Jay kept the rhythm coming simple and tight. They grabbed at each other’s shirts (as they often do, wrestling across the stage) while Chris Hoster nailed a couple smooth solos.
Of course, TGS also dug into their previous albums for some oldie goldies (their two hour set gave them time to play quite a bit). “The Union” had everyone jumping up and down while “Sometimes on a Sunday” had the crowd in a collective, celestial awe and “Ruby” had everyone excitedly singing word for word as if they were the ones fighting the bear in the song. When all was said and done, the boys had “done good”.
The night wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the band’s performance of “Gordie”, a song they wrote about a Tragically Hip cover band from Kingston and of course, Gord Downie himself. To chants of “Gor-die! Gor-die!”, the band obliged during their first encore and the fans went nuts. After a week of nation-wide mourning, this song seemed to hit a nerve for everyone (the band included). They even stopped part way through as the chant continued and they took it all in with a toast to Gord. It was a nice way to end a massively hard week for music lovers.
The second encore ended the evening on the beloved song, “Amigo”. Emmons was right down at the bars, singing to the crowd while the band backed him up happily. The sound was crisp, the air was raw with emotion and the evening couldn’t have been better.
Peace, love & history.