by Nilabjo Banerjee

If you were sulking in the misery of the Leafs (probably) missing the playoffs, you should have taken a walk down Spadina to Adelaide Hall to let the alt-rock sounds of Fast Romantics (and spirits) cheer you up.

Toronto via St John’s band of five Gramercy Riffs had the crowd hipster-grooving few minutes into the set. The infectious keys-based melodies, duality of boy-girl vocals and Lee Hanlon’s loveable shy banter made it tough not to love the band. Short set, mixed with oldies and tunes from the February release Desire Trails, ended with the catchy album opener “Heartbreak”, that had the crowd humming the woo-hoo chorus long after the set.

VanCity’s next power couple Drew and Danielle McTaggart aka Dear Rouge seized the attention of those gathered right away.  Their sound, glorious mix of Metric’s alt-edgy tones (“I Heard I Had”) and dance-rock beats (‘Thinkin About You”) wasn’t plagued by technical difficulties of the Toronto show last November. Be it the soaring vocals or the riveting stage persona, Danielle wasn’t holding back. If you aren’t talking about the band with your friends, you should.

Not even a broken guitar string could deter Matt Angus last night. “I am gonna play this song with 5 strings”, admitted the sweaty Fast Romantics frontman. And the packed venue loved them the same. The Toronto via Calgary quintet, sound described as the melodic chaos of multiple guitars, keys and glorious harmonies topped with Angus’ harsh-but-sweet passionate vocals, played mostly from Afterlife Blues and few oldies. Though, the consensus on the pick for set highlight would be the impromptu (and spot-on) “Song # 2” cover. Woo hoo!