Starting off the new year with a bang, the Class of 2017 series continued this past weekend. Put on by local Toronto promoter Dan Burke and Exclaim!, in celebration of the magazine’s 25th anniversary, young acts have the chance to highlight their rising talents alongside other artists in their genre.
Switching from the Silver Dollar Room to the legendary Horseshoe Tavern, the night of January 14th brought more of a garage-rock vibe. Headlined by the craziest fun boys around, Ottawa’s New Swears were the fourth act of five to play that night. Taking to the stage right before them, and catching the attention of the incredibly packed venue while they were at it, Lindsay’s The Kents put on a memorable performance. Having recently acquired a new drummer, Tanner Pare, the band proved what a natural and smooth transition that has been for them. Their high energy, indie-rock laden hooks and poppy melodies had the thick of the crowd dancing and singing along – something that was impressive to see for such a young and new act. The Kents delivered a very fine-tuned set that showed just how well the four friends jive together, both on stage and off.
New Swears kicked off their set with a flurry of Silly String and outrageous outfits, while the crowd wasted no time with tearing into a mosh pit. Having recently signed to Dine Alone Records, the fun boys have a new 7″ under the belts and are underway in the process of recording even more material. Older tracks from prior releases Junkfood Forever, Bedtime Whatever and Funny Isn’t Real like “Midnight Lovers” and “Two Darts” were huge crowd pleasers and proved to be even more fun live. The on stage antics of Sammy J. Scorpion, Scru Bar, and Beej eh are chaotic and ridiculous, while Nick NoFun steadily holds it all down on the kit. The guitarists and bassist don’t ever hesitate – not even when tubes of confetti explode directly in their faces mid-song. They jump off the walls, into the crowd, and play on the backs of one another. Their chemistry and energy is palpable, making them an exceptional pick for the Class of 2017.
Words by Ava Muir
Photos by Benjamin Bush