As you descend the stairs into the Downstairs Live Room of Bowery Electric in lower Manhattan, the feeling you could be in a friend’s brownstone comes over you. Brick walls and hardwood floors bring a feeling of warmth and comfort to the intimate venue.
After a couple of opening acts, the stage belonged to one of Canada’s best exports, multi-gold record rock band, The Trews. After an Australian tour and taking a little time off for the holidays, the band is back on the road, playing a few dates in the U.S. before heading back home and more touring.
Headliners across the border, The Trews have shared billing with such legendary performers as The Rolling Stones, Robert Plant, and most recently, Bruce Springsteen. Step by step, The Trews are working their way through the States, building a loyal fan base as they go.
The Trews’ “The Power of Positive Drinking”
Brothers Colin and John-Angus MacDonald, Cousin Sean Dalton and long-time friend Jack Syperek are known for their driving rhythms, interesting writing subjects and high energy shows. This night was no different.
The band opened up with “The Power of Positive Drinking,” and it’s hard to disagree with either the song or the sentiment. The comfort level within the band is obvious. Beyond the personal connections, the band has been together for over ten years and the experience level is evident.
Without taking a breath, The Trews launched into a medley of “Not Ready to Go/Thirty Days in the Hole.” A pounding rhythm and interesting guitar lick by John-Angus pushed the crowd up a notch. Bassist Jack Syperek plays hard; while he’s not a physically intense player, his bass lines were strong throughout the night, acting as a perfect complement to the equally strong drums of Sean Dalton.
The title song from their last full album, Hope and Ruin, works as well live as it does in the studio version. The drums build the intensity of the song, as Colin MacDonald’s vocal not only hits all the right notes, but also the right emotion.
“Tired of Waiting,” off their House of Ill Fame album, kept the energy high. The Trews featured several songs from their newly released EP Thank You and I’m Sorry, and the next song was one of them. “Herm-Aphrodite (she was a guy),” gives a wink and a nod to The Kinks “Lola.” Time constraints made for a shortened set, almost requiring the entire set list to be rockers. A full-set would have allowed them to include some of their ballads, which show a completely different side of the band.
Having seen The Trews before, their performance on this night was as full-out as the last. Strong musicianship, pleasing harmonies, good vocals and good tunes; everything you want in a rock band. Don’t miss a chance to see them next time they venture into the lower forty-eight.
Written by Kath Galasso
OurVinyl | Contributor
Power of Positive Drinking
Out of Control/30 Days in the Hole
So She’s Leaving
Lord Keep Me in Mind
Hope and Ruin
Tired of Waiting
Herm-Aphrodite (she was a guy)
Poor Ol’ Broken Hearted Me