The Gig: The Mercy Now
Where: The Silver Dollar, Toronto, ON, Canada
When: 19 November 2011
In One Word: Unity
Having +1 on the guest list to a concert is cool, but +7? Now that’s rock and roll.
Saturday night at the The Mercy Now at The Silver Dollar was always going to be a dead cert for a real rock ‘n roll party. The venue, while not being rundown, definitely still fits into the dive bar category and it took a bit of coaxing to get a couple of my friends to step inside. “Are you sure this place is safe?”, one asked with genuine concern, to which I gave the assurance that that there is no safer place I’d rather be than at a rock show with friends.
Dive bars are my ultimate home. The less pretentious a concert venue, the better. The vibe and atmosphere will always be better in raw venues like Silver Dollar, because the place is alive. It has a pulse. The Mercy Now came on at 12.30 and for the hour or so that they played, it was an absolute blast. Everybody in the place had a good time. We danced, we stumbled and we sung. Audience participation? This was unity. Gritty, euphoric, swaying-together, stumbling-out-the-door rock and roll unity.
/Rant… This was a stark contrast to the concert I’d found myself at the previous night. Puscifer at the Sony Centre was pretty damn tedious. I was probably the only one who stayed sitting down. Sitting or standing in one place in a big fancy concert hall full of chairs is not fun. The sound might be great but it’s definitely not rock and roll. All the security and ushers walking around making sure nobody steps into the aisle or does anything spontaneous? Boring. And the gigantic projected videos? Sure, a couple of funny clips but rock concerts are not supposed to be spectator sports. If I want to go to see a film and sit in a cramped chair, I’ll go to the movie theatre. This is the reason I miss Toronto venues like The Big Bop and Planet Kensington: total shit-holes but at least they had soul. I’m digressing horribly, but the point is I’d rather see a legit band like The Mercy Now play in some shitty dive than see some droll A/V sit-down show. …end rant./
Songs like “Cold Feet”, “Hard Times”, “The Full Story” and “Mercy” have become set staples and have established The Mercy Now as one of the best upcoming rock bands in the city. And the more I see The Mercy Now, the more I believe that this band can reach another level. There are tons of bands in Toronto, a lot of good bands, but the majority of bands begin to sound the same, as they struggle to stand out and in the end get stuck in the big listless middling void. But some bands rise above. The Mercy Now know how to kick it, and I think they are legit: a band definitely “Capable” of taking things one step further, and reaching that sacred place known as ‘somewhere’.
© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice
Internet link: The Mercy Now