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- Posted on Mar 11th 2010 6:30PM by Jonathan Dekel
As the headliners of the opening night of Canadian Music Week / Canadian Music Fest, lead singer Mark Holmes, guitarist Sergio Galli and drummer Chris Steffler -- bassist Kenny MacLean died in 2008 -- played to a packed Mod Club theatre filled with gen-Xers reliving their teenage fantasies.
Kicking off well past most of the audience's weekday bedtime, the show began with a presentation chronicling the group's rise from bar band to big-haired teen idols and their eventual excess-induced collapse. Then the trio -- supported by a replacement bassist and keyboardist -- appeared in the flesh to perform their 1983 single 'Standing in the Dark' from their debut album.
Keeping the set short, the group often referred to as 'Canada's Duran Duran' managed to find a perfect balance of hits and fan favourites, even squeezing in hammy ballad 'Somebody Somewhere' -- dedicated to MacLean -- between power pop infernos.
Holmes, who is part-owner of the venue and better known these days as a Britpop DJ (he even looked a bit like Liam Gallagher's older brother), seemed at home on stage, vogueing, humping and strangling himself while occasionally taunting the rabid women up front with an arm to hold onto.
By contrast, Steffler -- clearly the most out of practice of the group -- strained to keep the beat, making for some awkward listening, most notably during the drum pad solo from an otherwise fiery version of 1984's 'It Doesn't Really Matter.'
And it didn't to the crowd. For a brief moment, both band and audience were transported back to the their '80s heyday and surely that was worth the price of admission alone.