By Andrew Horan
Toronto’s Neon Wave had an impressive number of effects pedals on stage that they utilized to great effect throughout their set.
The crowd had thinned somewhat by the time they took to the stage but the people who stuck around were treated to a, mostly, well-played set.
Made up of former members of Whale Tooth, Hands & Teeth and Ten Kens, the three piece played loud, distorted indie rock that varied between Dinosaur Jr.-influenced alt-rock and shoegaze-style songs. They even sounded a bit like Toronto indie stalwarts Broken Social Scene on one song.
Saying that their music is a bit removed from their former projects would be a bit of an understatement.
They hit the stage to a song with a drawn-out intro before launching into a raw number that featured a guitar solo. Admittedly, the vocals were hard to make out at times.
At one point, the frontman Alex Denike quipped, “Welcome to North by boo-ya!” The band was a little stiff at first, but they grew more animated as their set progressed. Denike is a talented guitarist, something he ably demonstrated with the frequent guitar solos he played throughout their set.
They played a song with an underlying sense of tension that they maintained throughout.
When they announced it was only their third show, it was somewhat surprising. The band did show signs of trying to find their legs. However, as their growing confidence demonstrated, they should be able to find their feet with no problem.