It was a bone chilling Saturday night in the city yet Canadian music fans tackled the icy cold to fill up Toronto’s historical venue, Massey Hall. The show only had one opener, Montreal’s The High Dials, a band that grew up with front man, Sam Roberts. Finally, thirty minutes later, Sam Roberts Band made their grand entrance (five minutes earlier than scheduled and we loved them for it).
SBR started the night with ‘Shapeshifters’ and instantly brought the crowd to their feet. It’s often harder to engage with an audience at a seated show but Sam Roberts Band knew what they were doing. They performed hit after hit making it painful to sit down when everybody else was up and dancing to smashes like ‘Where Have All The Good People Gone’ and ‘Them Kids’. They even acknowledged the fact that it was Valentine’s Day and slowed it down for the couples in the audience with acoustic tunes like ‘Uprising Down Under’.
The Montreal natives were extremely humble, expressing how delighted and terrified they were to be playing a show at the Massey Hall. Rest assured, they did not disappoint. It became obvious that they knew their audience during the intermission. Instead of a dark, empty stage sick electronic music filled up the theatre supported by colourful on-screen visuals. The mostly middle-aged crowd was definitely not the type that would have stood in the pitch-black hall, chanting a cliché ‘encore’ in unison. SBR’s unique intermission pushed the show forward seamlessly while keeping it classy.
Their performance, overall, was impressive, entertaining and worthwhile.