Toronto band The Strumbellas has been around since 2008 and enjoyed good success in Canada including a Juno Award. Then their album “Hope” and their single “Spirits” released this spring and nothing ever was the same. The band played the Fine Line yesterday.
Supporting them was Foreign Air, the duo of Jesse Clasen and Jacob Michael. Longtime friends playing in different bands they started collaborating and the result is quite interesting. Synth heavy with good danceable beats they delivered a lively set. When they came on stage a voice from the crow asked: “Who are you?” Judging by their set, I doubt that question will come up the next time their in town. Closing with their new single “Free Animal” Foreign Air, on their first day of their tour with The Strumbellas, delivered one heck of an introduction.
So it turns out, The Strumbellas were making music and fans before “Spirits” and those fans were out in force yesterday. One even brought a Dave sign prompting singer Simon Ward to comment and embark on a quest to change the sign to the Simon Category. That pretty much set the tone for the show. There is a direct connection to the audience not only through the music but also between songs. The Strumbellas wave a quirky sense of humor and keep things light – The question remains: Is Simon really a Vikings fan or a gifted Bullshitter?
The set was heavy on their new album mixed in with older songs that probably were new to some in the crowd. Their sound is indie rock with a good folksy, approachable vibe. Perfect for many fans to sing along. The last song of their main set “Spirits” left the audience with an euphoric feeling. Overall a very nice evening and I hope the next time will see them at First Avenue.
Set List: Wars / Young & Wild / End of an Era / We Don’t Know / The Long Road / Rhinestone / The Fire / The Sheriff / Shovels & Dirt / Hired Band / Night Will Save Us / In This Life / Wild Sun / Spirits Encore: Home Sweet Home / Sailing