The Gig: Eagles of Death Metal and Small Sins at NXNE 2010
Where: Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto, ON, Canada
When: 16 June 2010
In One Word: Devilish
Just a fortnight after Virgin Mobile Canada left Canadian music fans disappointed with the cancellation of Virgin Festival for this year, the company scored some good vibes and new fans by presenting this Eagles of Death Metal show at the Phoenix. Virgin couldn’t have dreamt for the show to have gone better, while North By Northeast (NXNE) kicked off in the best possible way. It was an absolutely rocking night for everyone.
Support act Small Sins from Toronto came on at 10 and proceeded to romp through their set of electro pomp. Their music was synth heavy but not heavy, if you follow – it lacked weight as a whole. I found it all a bit middling. At one end of the audio spectrum, things didn’t spark to a sharp or fast enough point, while the slower stuff just didn’t interest me. I can happily devour electro that is either hyper or chilled but Small Sins float in a rather grey area between both. I was into it at first but slowly my interest waned and I just wanted the Eagles of Death Metal to come on. Given all the anticipation for the main event, it’d be unfair to be more critical. It was a tough slot for Small Sins and they weren’t bad at all. I was impressed by their guitarist who added something much needed to the waves of synth sounds – he was expressive but suitably refrained. A decent opener.
Eagles of Death Metal were brilliant. Frontman Jesse “The Devil” Hughes was suitably lit up in red under the venue lamps and rejoiced in being a rock n’ roll bad boy. Sure, his performance might be a bit of a parody, but there was no shortage of girls reaching out to be pulled up on staged for a kiss and a dance with Jesse. By the end of the night over half a dozen beautiful girls had found themselves watching from the side of the stage, while many more jumped around in the audience. An immense set of thumping desert rock and a bevy of beautiful girls? Yup, you bet us boys were having fun too.
Josh Homme was not present but those familiar with the band’s touring line-up should have expected that. A more notable absentee was bassist Brian O’Connor, who was back in Los Angeles resting after undergoing surgery for cancer earlier in the day. Dean Fertita (Queens Of The Stone Age) deputised and together he and the rest of the Eagles delivered an intense set of desert rock.
The big songs like “Cherry Cola” and “I Only Want You” provided predictable high-points – they were the maraschinos on top of what was one hell of a rock n’ roll show.
©Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice
Pictures of Eagles of Death Metal and Small Sins: