After seven years of making people sing and dance at their shows, Suit n’ Toques called it a day in front of a packed Rainbow Bistro full of friends and fans.
From the moment Suits took the stage, the pit was full and there was no room for dancing to their ska-punk stylings as the moshing took over. This was certainly more of a celebration of life than a funeral. The only body being carried were the crowd surfers and the stage divers.
The band was certainly feeling the love. Stopping several times between songs to thank everyone for being there. They were sincerely blown away by the size of the crowd (possibly a sellout) and their excitement. Lead singer and trombone player Chris Ferrante paused to say “Thank you! We are overwhelmed by the love and by how many people are here.” Of course it wouldn’t be a Suits n’ Toques show without a few trombone beer bongs, but they were next level thanks to Rainbow’s second floor balcony.
The band played a fast-paced upbeat set which featured a good mix of original tracks released over years as a band, as well as six or seven covers. These covers ranged from Ricky Martin’s “Living La Vida Loca” to Jeff Rosenstock’s “Rainbow.” They then closed the show with an encore featuring two covers with a lot meaning to the band, Reel Big Fish’s “Sellout” and Streetlight Manifesto “We Will Fall Together” which were the first songs they ever learned way back in music class.
While this night was about Suits n’ Toques, Ottawa’s The Sentries once again showed why they are the best ska/reggae band in town and probably the best between Montreal and Toronto.
The dance floor was hopping, the fans were skanking and the music was flowing. The Sentries played a bunch of smooth songs such as one of my favourites “Drag Race” off of their latest release Hot Sessions. The band also played some captivating instrumental tracks. Very few bands can capture your attention and keep you moving as much, if not more, with their instrumental tracks than with songs where they sing as The Sentries. They teased us with a new track which had many excited and filled with hopes for some new recordings. They also took the time to give a big shout out to Suit n’ Toques, whom they believe they have shared a stage with well over a dozen times over the years.
Lime from Montreal also graced the stage to help celebrate Suits n’ Toques. Lime were the first band Suits ever played with in Montreal and they have since played together bunch. The band opened with a French track which got me all excited. While they weren’t strictly a Francophone band, it was excellent to hear their blend of French and English songs. Their trombone players was super energetic and entertaining, which I’m beginning to think is just the trombone way—like when he jumped off stage during a song to play in the pit as people danced and moshed all around. While their sound was very happy, as most ska is, their song topics ranged from drinking to gonorrhea to dating your friend’s sister to a chorus about how life sucks and then you die. They certainly ran the gamut of emotions. They closed their set covering two-tone ska legends The Specials’ “Little Bitch.”
Getting everything started was Chris Ferrante’s new band Bad Volunteers. Chris traded his trombone for a guitar for this three piece punk/rock project. I was running a little late and didn’t catch the whole set, but really liked the energy of what I heard and saw. It also never hurts when you throw in a rocking cover of The Beatles’ classic “I’ve Just Seen a Face.”