Photo Dump :: D-Beatstro First Birthday

Hey folks! I’ve done something a bit different with today’s photo dump: a decent-sized review interspersed with a few shots from the show! However, if you don’t feel like reading things today (and I can’t say I blame ya), just scroll down to the bottom of the writing where there are photo sets as usual. Enjoy!

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Last Thursday, the 21st, I attended a very special; birthday celebration at Toronto’s D-Beatstro. The guest of honour? The café itself!  That’s right, beloved vegan café, art gallery, music venue, and vendor of locally-made DIY products just turned one! I was there for the first of the three nights of festivities, which showcased six acoustic folk acts. 

01 Focus Fires-4
Focus Fires

The evening began with two sets of intimate Toronto punk duos: first off was Focus Fires– a band that that frequently plays electric sets as opposed to acoustic. While they may have “toned it down” to acoustic guitars, their sound and skill definitely remained just as fantastic. 

02 Former Gang Members-2
Former Gang Members

Up next were Former Gang Members, who not only blew the crowd away with their songs, but their charismatic banter throughout the sets had everyone charmed.

03 Byron-6Byron

Byron, a solo acoustic artist from Guelph, was third. Instead of playing in the ‘stage’ area, he instead leaned against the food display, performing his set while “lit up by cupcakes” The effect of everyone being crowded into the narrowest part of the space was not one of stuffiness but one of intimacy. I was immediately transported back to times where I would go to house shows, where with the magic of music even strangers feel familiar. His lyrics had everyone rapt with attention as he sang about topics bodily autonomy and oil drilling killing wales. One of my personal favourites though, was a song about Mens’ Rights Activists: composed of a singular guitar strum and screaming “MRAS! WHAT THE FUCK?!” before moving on to the next song. 

04 Greg Rekus-1Greg Rekus

Greg Rekus played afterwards, with a creative setup I never would have even imagined. Not only was he playing guitar, but he had a stomp box set up- almost like a small stage- with seven tambourines of different shapes, sizes, and colours duct taped to the front. Throughout the set, he stomped, jumped, and shuffled as percussion along to the music, causing the tambourines to play along. 

06 Jenn Florentino-5Jenn Fiorentino

The second-last act was Jenn Fiorentino. I know how cliche the term “voice of an angel” is, but in her case, it is honestly true. The whole set was beautiful, with empowering and emotional songs that touched everyone to the core. In addition to her own songs, she played a couple of covers, including a breathtaking cover of Rodent by The Menzingers. 

06 Jon Creeden-7Jon Creeden

Finally, Jon Creeden took to the stage, playing a mix of his well-known classics (such as The Captain), covers, and even some just-written ones. One notable one in the last category was a song about drinking and partying far too much at a concert he attended in Berlin while on a recent European tour. Half was written through a hangover at 10am the morning after, and the other half was finished just a few days before thursday’s show. The song? “Seriously I’m Sorry Jeff Rosenstock.” 

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Focus Fires

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Former Gang Members

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Byron

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Greg Rekus

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Jenn Fiorentino

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Jon Creeden

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