There are some iconic concert venues in Toronto. About a year and a half ago I was walking along Queen St. West by the Horseshoe Tavern. For those who don’t know, the ‘shoe has been a fixture in Toronto for over 70 years and has hosted so many legendary shows. Many nights there are local bands playing and cover is minimal, if any. Anyways, it was a warm July evening that I stopped by to see who was playing. I gave the doorman my five bucks, ordered a beer and went into the back room. This is how I first discovered Knifey.
Since then I’ve been trying to see another of their shows but fate has laughed in my face and threw up all sorts of roadblocks. My Knifey drought came to an end recently when they played another iconic Toronto spot, the Monarch Tavern.
Knifey is a four-piece surf-rock/punk/indie band from Toronto, made up of Max Trinz on vocals and guitar, Phil Linton on guitar and back up vocals, Ammar Karam on drums and bassist Tate Conlin.
The band took the stage to a full house that was vibrating with anticipation, the guest list full of reps from local record labels and other influential members of the Toronto music scene. They opened with two songs from their upcoming album, Sleepwalker, which is due for release this summer. The new songs sounded great. After going back into their catalog, the band introduced “Shallow,” the first single from the album for which they just finished filming a video. The half way mark of their set was the instrumental “Spy Theme” which certainly lives up to its name.
By the time Knifey started on the second half of their set they had the crowd eating from their hands and the room felt like it was about to explode. I’m sure there are boot marks on the ceiling of the room from the crowd surfing. I moved a bit further back to stay out of the mosh pit and found myself standing next to Nixon Boyd (Hollerado) who produced the album. While he had seen them in the studio, he had never had the opportunity to see them in concert. We both agreed on how great they sounded live.
Once their nine-song set was done, the band came down from the stage and into crowd, they were mobbed by friends and well-wishers congratulating them of a great night.