SATE w/ The Damn Truth & Les Deuxluxes
@ The Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto
November 17, 2016
Down at The Horseshoe Tavern, the night was all about Canadian bands with powerful frontwomen who captured their audience. Well into the beginning of the night there were people dancing and jumping along to the songs, which isn’t always easy to do, especially if it’s a weekday. Hard riffs, gritty licks, and a lot of hair flying, The Horseshoe Tavern brought in a great group of bands to rock the night away.
First on the bill was Les Deuxluxes, a duo from Montreal. At first sight it was clear it would be a force to reckon with since singer Anna Frances Meyer was sporting gold from head to toe – not just with the glittery jumpsuit – and one-man-band Étienne Barry wore a red-jacket-and-leopard-print-shirt combo.
After mentioning a rumour that people in Toronto don’t dance, many audience members hit the dancefloor, although because of their high-energy performance, there wasn’t much coaxing needed to get people to clap or sing along. Their sound was sort of a mix between ’70’s Hard Rock and Funk. With Barry simultaneously singing, playing guitar and drums and Meyer’s strong vocals, they were well received by the audience. Songs like “My Babe & Me” and “Springtime Devil” really got the crowd going with the catchy and fast-paced nature of most of them. Even when slower songs like “Lost” came on people were cheering, dancing, and so into the performance it took a minute to remember there were still two other bands scheduled for the night. They rocked so hard, Meyer lost her earring and didn’t let it faze her performance.
SATE came on next and, much like Les Deuxluxes, didn’t need to coax the crowd to participate. Right from the moment she danced her way onstage in a lot of metal and a lot of black, the crowd was cheering. Since that moment, SATE hardly stood still and was very animated, only briefly pausing to speak to the audience. The Toronto-based singer has a really strong set of pipes and it was clear how much she had put into the performance.
SATE’s set list was gritty, sexy, and very enjoyable. There was a great selection of songs like “Warrior,” which is upbeat and a bit lighter, and almost like an anthem for the genre, compared to those like “What Did I Do?”, which is heavier and slower. For anyone who had only seen SATE online, the show provided not only a lot more context, but it just proved that online means don’t do her any justice.
What was also nice about her performance was that the rest of the band danced around and interacted with each other like other performance, rather than accessories. They also all got their own moments to shine with solos or singing. SATE also addressed the crowd, mentioning the previous performance from Les Deuxluxes and (“without shaming”) the latecomers for missing the performance. She also advised everyone to stick around for The Damn Truth.
SATE’s words weren’t in vain. Many people filled the checkerboard floors to see them. Another gritty band with a ’70s sound and a frontwoman who refused to stay still, The Damn Truth was also well worth the wait.. Again, it didn’t take much to get the crowd going, and by this point, there wasn’t a single person sitting down in the performance portion of the venue. Equipped with a guitar and tambourine, singer Lee-La Baum really made her presence known dancing all around the stage.
Her bandmates had a great presence as well, standing on the light-up box over the crowd and Baum making use of the peace sign prop by holding it up. Even with a minor malfunction with the equipment they didn’t let it get the best of their performance and continued to rock out. With it fixed, though, there was heavy use of the wah pedal, making it that much more of a Rock show.
– Sabrina Biot
(Photography by Sabrina Biot)