Six nights, six shows, in the 6ix!
For a music fan, that sounds like an amazing week, but for a band, it is a mountain to climb. Good thing USS never backs down from a challenge!
For the release of their second full-length LP, New World Alphabet, which is due out in early 2017, Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker, aka USS, decided to test out their new material on home turf.
But, when USS first announced #SixInThe6ix, there was a flood of questions that filled my head:
Who, if anyone, has done this before? What surprises will the band have in store? When will this sellout? (Found that one out very quickly) Where will be the rowdiest show? Why six in the 6ix (Toronto)?
And, most importantly: How many head stands will Human Kebab do throughout the week? (Odds are +/-8.5)
Armed with a camera, a pad and paper, and enough energy drinks to keep a small IT army working for a week, this reviewer will be deep in the USS trenches to find the answers to the tough questions.
Night 1: The Cameron House
For the first night of the #SixInThe6ix Tour, USS brought it back to where the madness all began.
Back in 2005, USS sold-out their first show at the popular Queen Street West music venue; no easy feat for an up and coming band. They had no problem selling it out this time either, as 66-lucky fans were able to grab a ticket to this intimate performance. From ‘Work Shoes’, to old-favourites ‘NA OK’ and ‘Cloudboy’, USS fans had something to celebrate. While the night was full of surprises, the one thing that really blew us away was when, during the encore, lead singer Ash started to craft a smoothie on-stage!
While the blender had been setup since the beginning of the show, it was in the middle of ‘Me Vs. Us’ when Ash started adding bananas, watermelon, and a green juice mix to the blender. Then, he proceeded to use the mixing blender on his guitar strings to create one of the most unique, and powerful, guitar tones.
You had to see it to believe it, but let’s hope they bring it back for other shows this week, because it was delicious!
Can’t wait to see what else the band has in store for us this week!
Night 2: MOD Club Theatre
On the second night of #SixInThe6ix, our true loves (USS) gave to us: another unforgettable performance!
From Monday night’s show at The Cameron House, to Tuesday night’s show at the MOD Club, it was easy to see that the venue helps to craft the experience at a USS show. Jade The Moon helped to get the crowd of 600+ people warmed up for the night ahead, and then it was time for the boys to really get the party started!
One of the highlights from last night was when the band broke into a cover of Jimmy Eat World‘s ‘The Middle’, which brought the crowds energy right back up. From Kebab’s headstands (The count is at 1), and the dynamic display from Ash, USS were truly in their element last night at the MOD Club.
As the band left the stage for the first time, no one could expect that they would come out to perform two encores, but were even more surprised when Human Kebab came back to the stage to ask, “Who here remembers Wayne’s World? Well, we’ve already had two alternate endings, it’s about time we do a third!”, and then proceeded to crowd surf with Ash for the final chorus of the night!
Tonight they hit The Opera House, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for nearly 1000 in attendance tonight!
Night 3: The Opera House
On the third night of #SixInThe6ix, nearly 1000 fans packed into the Opera House on a Wednesday night. What was 1000 fans, felt like 10,000, due to their deafening shouts of approval!
After some inspiring opening acts from B.Rich and B.A. Johnston, USS took to the stage to a thunderous ovation from the fans. Making sure to hit the usual touchstones, USS surprised the audience by busting out “Built to Break”, and, a new song, “Who’s With Me”, which was the first time that they had played that song live. USS is pulling out all of the stops on their current string of shows!
When 6 shows sell-out in two days, you can trust that it’s going to be packed with true USS fans. 3-days into #SixInThe6ix, and I have yet to see a scalper (*besides the usual online-scalpers). If anything, many fans have been giving away their extra tickets to “make sure that a real fan attends the show”. As a reviewer, it is very refreshing to see the diversity that is represented at a USS show, and proves that music really is the universal language!
Tonight, USS will play the Rivoli, the popular Queen Street West venue, to another SOLD-OUT crowd. Who’s ready for Round 4?
Night 4: Rivoli
On the fourth night of #SixInThe6ix, USS headed just down the road from Monday night’s venue (Cameron House) to the Rivoli.
2016 has been one crazy year: From the deaths of our favourite celebrities, and elections, everyone could us a bit of a pick me up. For those in attendance at the Rivoli last night, we all got to share in one of the brighter moments of the year. When USS called one of their mega-fans up on stage,we didn’t know what to expect, and neither did his girlfriend! As uber-fan, Matt, took the stage and got down on one knee, the crowd took a momentary breath of anticipation, before she emphatically said yes! The newly-engaged couple was then serenaded by Ash, as they took their first dance together as engaged-to-be-wed. It was truly a special and genuine moment to be able to witness.
And, of course, USS knocked it out of the park again with another inspiring performance! After releasing the track listing, for their upcoming album New World Alphabet, on their social pages yesterday, USS teased the audience with a few new tracks, including the lead single “Work Shoes, and another new song, “Us”. The new album is definitely going to be worth the wait!
The #SixInThe6ix train keeps moving tonight with Night 5 at Adelaide Music Hall! Check back tomorrow for more updates!
Night 5: Adelaide Hall
On the fifth night of #SixInThe6ix, USS, along with their friends Wildlife, helped to kick off everybody’s weekend at Adelaide Hall.
Alright, somebody has to ask the question: “How are these guys still standing?”
After giving it 110% on each of the last four nights, USS just had one of their most rambunctious shows of the week! For those that are lucky enough to be attending all 6 of the shows, we can certainly attest to the exhaustion that is starting to settle in within ourselves, but Ash and Human Kebab seem to be on another level. On a night where they played 14 songs during the set, along with the two encores that followed, it felt as if they had enough energy to play through the whole weekend! New diet plan: get USS to lead you through 6 days of aerobics. The results will shock you!
While the week has been dominated by USS’ powerful sound, they have been sure to pay tribute to the songs and bands that inspire them, and last night was no different. As Human Kebab stated, they wanted to “pay tribute to a great band from Kingston”, as they kicked into ‘Something On‘ by The Tragically Hip. While not one of the more commonly known Hip songs, it’s lyrics are a powerful and thought provoking look into friendship, and dealing with fame. Check out a small snippet of their rendition in the video on the left (or here).
Tonight is the final night of #SixInThe6ix, and USS will be giving it everything they’ve got at the Danforth Music Hall. There are sure to be more than a few surprises, and you’ll have to check back tomorrow for the full update!
Night 6: Danforth Music Hall
They came, they saw, they conquered.
How else to describe the powerful force of USS‘ six-night stand in Toronto for #SixInThe6ix? Night after night, they continued to out-perform themselves! It was an inspiring week of music, with Ash, Human Kebab, and their drummer, Matt Murphy, at the helm. Here’s what happened on the final night of #SixInThe6ix at the Danforth Music Hall:
With USS’s new album, New World Alphabet, set to be released in the new year, (and a cross-Canada tour to follow) fans got a sneak peak of what was in store, as future tour mates, Repartee, got the crowd warmed-up! Meg Warren, lead singer of Repartee, displayed a powerful vocal range, and had won the crowd over with choruses that are sure to be stuck in your head.
USS, as they had on other nights, came out to the stage at full-throttle.
While the other stage setups took a more modest approach, tonight the stage was came with all the bells and whistles…or, should I say, smoke cannons and strobe lights! While many would suspect that 5 nights of shows would have slowed them down a bit, it is safe to say that they were emptying the tanks at the Danforth! From Human Kebab’s stage-dives, to Ash’s hauntingly powerful performance of ‘K.I.T’, the gravity of the situation was not lost on USS: they had sold-out Danforth Music Hall, one of Toronto’s premiere music venues, after playing 5 consecutive, sold-out shows, in a place that they called home. And with 1,500 adoring fans chanting, “USS! USS!”, at the top of their lungs, they were home.
Now that #SixInThe6ix is over, is it too much to ask for #FourHundredSixteenInThe416 ?
On Monday, I will be posting my full #SixInThe6ix Recap, which will include an interview with USS hours before they hit they stage at the Danforth Music Hall! Check back tomorrow!
Full Recap Monday!
Check back Monday for more #SixInThe6ix action, including an interview with USS hours before the final show!