Kicking off The Edge Jingle Bell Concert Series with a bang, Houndmouth took the stage with enthusiasm and spunk, facing the packed, sold-out, Toronto crowd that awaited them at The Mod Club. Surprising everyone by casually entering on stage amidst an opening tune through venue speakers, the band gazed at each other…then the audience, and suddenly broke out into their places while waltzing around their set with smiles ear-to-ear. The band’s presence was quickly reciprocated by fans who immediately belted out every single word—drinks in the air, and eyes focused right on the performance.
One refreshing aspect of the band, was how completely genuine they were while sending out their many thanks. After playing a few hits to pump up the crowd, lead guitarist/vocalist Matt Myers expressed, “Thanks for coming out, and thanks to The Edge for having us! Wow…it’s a little bigger than last time…” continuing to later pronounce their appreciation to the station for hosting their Sugar Beach Session earlier that day. A band can articulate their thankfulness anytime, however, there was something special about the kindness Houndmouth expressed to their fans, The Edge, and the city of Toronto. Replacing lyrics with “T.O” versus other locations in songs, connecting one-on-one with specific fans in the crowd, and conveying their disbelief at how many people were in attendance of the sold-out show versus essentially empty shows in years past—we were honoured to have Houndmouth on stage in front of us.
Genuineness aside, Houndmouth’s musical talent did not go amiss. It was energizing to see a band that truly loves playing music, seemingly impressing themselves with their well-received talent as they fascinated the audience in front of them. With beaming smiles on their faces, cracking jokes mid-song, and rolling on the floor with their guitars—Houndmouth provided a night of music that restored our faith in musicians and live performances. A Houndmouth show is exactly the show that one needs to attend if they are seeking an atmosphere of togetherness and musical talent that sometimes goes overlooked at live events today. With the mood of the energetic crowd being picked up so high, and brought back down to a mellow calm while awaiting what was coming next; Houndmouth redefined what it meant to be at folk-rock show in 2015. Closing the night by huddling in the middle of the stage, softly playing the unmistakable guitar chords of their hit, “Sedona,” the crowd went absolutely wild, screaming the lyrics at the top of their lungs. The song provided a feeling that is difficult to put into words—but it was truly a sensation of euphoria. As a result, Houndmouth sincerely provided a night of music that will leave a lasting impression on all in attendance for a long time.