Review By: Matthew Bamber

If you are a downtown Toronto resident, chances are you can lean out any window in your house and hear some form of echoing melody traveling through the streets. Canadian Music Week (CMW2015) is in full swing as it comes close to its finish on May 10th. I got the chance to check out Illinois based rock band, The Orwells as they played a killer set at Lee’s Palace on May 6th.

I wasn’t really sure what to make of the band as they came on stage. The outfits were unique to say the least as members looked like they mixed and matched fashion eras to create a timeline of cascading trends. None the less, that was only until they started playing their music. The band is very creative with their play style that it makes them very pleasing to watch. I feel they’re youthful in their performance, their lyrics, and the fact that they’re… well… young. This is not to be taken as slander though, as The Orwells are talented. I only wish to see where they are down the road as a more mature band.

Opening the show with “Who Needs You,” a hit from their 2014 album Disgraceland, the crowd was instantly zoned in on the band. I really enjoyed their stage presence as they commanded every corner of the stage with thrashing and flailing dance moves. There was one individual that enjoyed the performance a little more than most as he made it a point to crowd surf to almost every song the band played.

The ensemble is composed of Mario Cuomo (vocals), Dominic Corso (guitar), Matt O’Keefe (guitar), Grant Brinner (bass), and Henry Brinner (drums). Making their debut in 2012, they have already acquired a substantial fan base and released two studio albums. Disgraceland is their most recent album, which was released in June of 2014.

Overall, The Orwells were a great addition to CMW and rocked the crowd into the wee hours of the morning. I’m excited to see what they bring to the table next.

If you have not been able to make it to any of the CMW events, be sure to get out and enjoy the various shows that are happening over the course of the next two days.