Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Jesse Labelle Steals The Show

Hey Everyone!
So last night, I had the opportunity to go check out Faber Drive's tour in support of their new album "Cant Keep A Secret". Along with them for this leg of the tour, they brought fellow Canadian artists Jesse Labelle and The New Cities. Here's a rundown of the show for those of you who are curious or about to check the tour out in your home town!

Honestly, I say this without bias and without a fan girl bone in my body... Jesse Labelle absolutely STOLE THE SHOW. Its a shame that he is the opener on this tour, but it makes sense as he just released his first full length album on Wax records in April of this year. He's been called the next John Mayer, and after last night, I can see why this young Toronto native is getting such high praise. Jesse's set was filled with perfect pitch, soft melodies, incredible guitar solos and lyrics that made every girl in the building swoon. The small, confident smiles he flashed were always followed by bursts of cheers and screams. But his talent goes far beyond those boy band good looks. Behind all that, there is a singer and songwriter with the ability to write beautiful ballads about life and love. Trust me, this boy has only just begun his career... forget those short lived, 90s boy band escapades of his- he's clearly grown up since then.

Jesse is a true, raw talent. It was great to see a young man take the stage with such ease and confidence in his music. The set was nice and simple... no extravagant stage theatrics, just some guys in jeans jamming out on their instruments. So refreshing to see a band who let the music speak for itself. Particularly stunning was the solo acoustic rendition he performed of his song "Lost". Throughout his set, I had to remind myself that I was in fact NOT watching a young Butch Walker. So if you're into gorgeous indie love songs, definitely check this guy out! You wont regret it.

Sadly for me, that's where the talent on this tour kind of started to die. Next up to play was The New Cities. I had seen these guys play back in the summer when I took my two younger sisters to see Katy Perry as a way to spend some time with them. I didn't think much of their set, but it was alright. Nothing entirely too memorable but they served their purpose and played well. Last night, I'm not sure I can be as nice. Something was really off, and as far as I could tell, it was the vocals. Following Jesse's near flawless vocal style must have been difficult to follow, but I mean, the key of each song ran noticeably flat. Also, after the first few tracks, I began to have difficulty telling the start of one from the next. It was pretty much 40mins of solid techno-pop-punk. A couple songs stood on their own two feet and proved a nice break, but by the end of it, I wasn't sure if they had played 5 songs or 15. There is potential, that's for sure. Maybe last night was just an off night for the Quebec boys. I reserve total judgement of this band until I see them one more time... third time is a charm, right? Not sure if that logic applies to music and artists or not but I'll choose to be hopelessly optimistic for once in my life haha.

Finally, headliners Faber Drive took the stage. Now, I have to say I actually used to like this band. I mean, I didn't run out to the local store to pick up their CD or anything, but I could sing along when tracks made appearances on radio and television stations. I liked the somewhat generic love songs, they were well played and well produced so I had very few complaints... and then came their latest album Cant Keep A Secret... yeah. I don't even know what to say anymore because I'm pretty sure aliens abducted the original band and are now inhabiting clone bodies or something because they pulled a COMPLETE 180 and jumped on board this techno-pop-punk bandwagon which is still moving records at a fast pace. To say the release of "G-G-Get Up And Dance" caught me off guard is an understatement. You get the point, enough of my rant, lets get back to the show!

Now, I didn't stay for their entire set... in fact, I think I left after about 5 songs. However, it wasn't bad. They played a good mix of newer and older tracks to kick off their set which I enjoyed. The performance was definitely high energy as the band members bounced around the stage. It is great to see people having fun on stage without overdoing it. Faber and Labelle were both on par with that idea. All in all, I definitely prefer their earlier material. Songs like "When I'm With You" and "Second Chance" instantly find their way into your Itunes play list with their catchy, heart felt lyrics and alternative rock finesse. I'm interested to see what the B.C. boys do next... will they stick to the trend or venture back to the alt rock their fans love? Only time will tell. However, if you're looking for a fun night out with some good music and lots of energy, check these guys out. You'll have a good time, and that's what concerts are all about!

Overall, this tour is fairly generic. A few upbeat pop-punk bands with synths and auto tune used as an instrument. Throw in a young Canadian songwriting heart throb who plays the guitar with the precision of a seasoned pro, and well, its worth the money spent. If you're looking for a fun night out, you may wanna see if this tour is rolling through a town near you!

"Toronto native Jesse Labelle had the crowd hanging on every note at his
performance last night at Cowboys in London, Ontario. Opening
for fellow Canadians, The New Cities and Faber Drive, the seasoned
indie singer proved that he can write breathtaking ballads while
playing a mean guitar solo. Perfect tone, heartfelt lyrics, and a fun, casual presence left the crowd wanting more."

Anyone else attend one of these tour dates or about to? Let me know what you thought!
Rock On,
- Girl At The Rock Show


  1. I had attended the one in London, Ontario at Cowboys. Jesse Labelle had brought me up on stage. I honestly , think that he is an amazing singer in person too. He did an excellent job and i hope to hear more music , coming from him sometime soon.

  2. I saw that, thats pretty sweet! Glad you had a good time and I'm sure we'll be hearing more from him soon. His voice was brilliant, couldn't agree more. It was your birthday, wasn't it? Happy bleated Birthday! What a way to celebrate. Thanks for reading, and thanks for the comment!