Recently GAIN Music hosted the Guelph stop of Courage My Loves’ Becoming Tour at Van Gogh’s Ear with Guelph band Mandroid Echostar joining them on several dates. They were joined by Uxbridge band Air Marshal Landing, performing in support of their new record, You Used To Be Me and Guelph band BoomEcho. In a rare occurrence, a band, all the bands in fact, were EARLY for their load-in times, with Courage My Love being the first to arrive. The night was all uphill from there!
Guelph band BoomEcho started things off with an energetic set of their 90’s Alternative meets Pop. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing BoomEcho a few times now, they have a great loyal following that were paying attention from the get go. Having a funky, fun, dance-rock band opening for headliners being rooted in Metal and Punk could have been risky but BoomEcho played a great set to an audience that was willing to listen and won over some new fans.
Next up were one of my new favourite bands, Air Marshal Landing. These guys impressed me back in April when they played at The A.N.A.F. and they were kind enough to send us their brand new album, You Used To Be Me, a couple weeks before release. The album is getting rave reviews from everyone (check out their Facebook Page for more details) and they don’t disappoint live. Being only the second time Air Marshal Landing have visited Guelph, I feared their set may fall on deaf ears. They played a whole set of their brand new material piquing the crowd’s interest. Guelph is such a musically gifted city and it’s great that the out-of-towners are welcomed with as much enthusiasm as our own. Air Marshal Landing write and perform the type of songs you’ll move closer to the stage for.
Mandroid Echostar are always happy to play in front of their hometown, and Guelph comes out in droves to cheer them on. By halfway through the first song of their set, almost everyone at Van Gogh’s Ear were collected right up against the stage. The boys have been in the studio recording their second EP as of late, but showed no signs of stage rust. Mandroid Echostar, the gentleman they are, asked permission to play a few of these new tracks, sending the crowd into a frenzied applause. The new songs are a departure from their debut EP but are just as good, maybe better. “Progressive” bands should make “progress” and it’s great to see Mandroid Echostar challenge themselves. The last song of the set saw everyone in the front row put their arms around each other while singing along. The audience was primed for PARTY MODE, and Courage My Love started setting up to take us even higher.
Considering Courage My Love hail from the KW area, it’s kind of shocking that this is only the second time they’ve played Guelph. They’ve been building a following in the GTA and the buzz surrounding the new album, Becoming, has been positive. Based on their youthful appearance, you might expect Courage My Love to be just another pop/punk band, but they use the history of punk, metal and pop, take the best parts of each, and make them all fun to watch and listen to live. Ultimately, Courage My Love blindsided me with their performance, playing their instruments faster and harder, nailing every solo and every vocal, all while bringing the crowd along with them for the ride. This is one band to watch and watch out for. Courage My Love don’t mess around and are already polishing a live show ready for thousands.. So, what did I learn? Never judge a band by their album cover.