LÖVE RAZËR DELIVER ONCE AGAIN
Date: December 30, 2016
Venue: Bovine Sex Club
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
One of the drawbacks for live music fans such as myself when a band seemingly starts getting bigger is that the group starts worrying about things such as overplaying or overexposing itself in a certain town or city. It seems to happen all the time. A new band needs to build its audience so plays as much as it can in whichever market will have it until the size of the crowds going to see the group starts dwindling down apparently due to overexposure. The opposite then occurs with the band purposely electing to play less and perhaps only once or twice per year in a town or city with the goal that fewer appearances will somehow translate into bigger crowds. It becomes a bit of a vicious circle as the group ends up playing less and staying out of the limelight a lot more simply to have a few more people at one of its shows. In addition, the fewer dates provide less opportunities for the band’s fans to get out to see the band that they love. This certainly feels like it is the case with a few hometown bands (that will remain nameless) that I really like in the Toronto area. When you’re 18 years old, odds are that you can make yourself available on just about any given night. When you’re married, working a “real job” and have multiple kids to tend to, making yourself available for one or two select dates that suddenly appear on the schedule with only a few weeks’ notice can be a real challenge.
Luckily for me, these types of concerns do not seem to plague the young upstart sleaze rockers that comprise one of the hottest new bands out there — Löve Razër. You see, in the last seven months or so, Löve Razër have played by my count over ten gigs in the greater Toronto area (which I define as up to an one hour drive of downtown Toronto) and I have been able to attend five of those ten shows. This essentially means that there is a 50% chance that I can attend a Löve Razër gig given that I would surely attend anytime that I could. Imagine if Löve Razër were only playing one or two shows per year in the greater Toronto area, there would be a high probability that I might not be able to see them play live at all during that timespan. I also have to give a lot of credit to Löve Razër for always seemingly playing at reasonable times (usually a start time anywhere between 9:00 pm to midnight) and advertising their gigs — even if they play multiple times in the same city — with as much notice as possible (i.e. more than a few weeks’ notice and often months in advance). These little things translate in substantially increasing the odds that a live music fan with lots of obligations such as myself will be able to attend a Löve Razër concert.
If you check to see what was the last concert review on Sleaze Roxx, you may be surprised to see that it was a… Löve Razër concert and in the same city at that. Thirteen days prior to their gig at the infamous Bovine Sex Club (which is really like Toronto’s answer to West Hollywood’s Rainbow Bar & Grill) on December 30th, Löve Razër had played a gig at The Rockpile in Toronto, which I had been fortunately able to attend. What a thrill to be able to see the sleaze rockers only thirteen days later! This time around, I was joined by Sleaze Roxx writer Mark Hovarth and one-time Sleaze Roxx photographer Allan for a fun night full of laughs at the Bovine! If you ever wondered who was the author of the fan made video for Steel Panther‘s “Anything Goes” song which was posted on Facebook by the comedy glam metal superstars, I was able to get verbal confirmation that night in that regard.
Another great move that Löve Razër do is advertise approximately what time that they think that they will be playing on any given night. That is certainly something that I appreciate since my days of spending an entire night from start to finish checking out every single band on the bill seems to have evaporated with my real life obligations. While I love checking out new bands, with limited time, it’s better to go “in and out” and simply get to the venue to see the band(s) that I want to see and perhaps one band before and after as well. When I had seen Löve Razër play at The Rockpile two weeks prior, I had unfortunately missed the first opening act Ian K. since Löve Razër were scheduled third on that bill that night. I had heard good things about Ian K.‘s set that night from my good friend and rival website Decibel Geek editor Rich Dillon. Accordingly, I was pleased to see that Ian K. was again playing before Löve Razër at the Bovine except this time, right before headliner Löve Razër‘s set! Accordingly, I made the effort to show up a little earlier than planned to check out Ian K. perform.
Wow! What can I say? I was really impressed with Ian K.‘s performance. I knew that singer Ian K. likely would impress with his voice given that I had previously seen him play as the Starchild (i.e. Paul Stanley) in Ontario’s premiere KISS tribute band Destroyer. While Ian K.‘s songs are on the poppier side than I would regularly listen to, they were quite catchy and full of melody making them easy to appreciate on a first listen. Hell, I was even singing along t0 a couple of Ian K.‘s songs towards the end of his set and that is despite only hearing his songs for the first time that night!
At first, I hung back towards the back of the small but long and narrow Bovine Sex Club venue while Ian K. and his bandmates stared playing. I can’t recall exactly which song it was — perhaps “Schizoman” — but eventually I felt a pull to check the band out from much closer and I moved up to the front for the last few songs. I’d love to tell you that I really enjoyed such and such a song but not knowing any of Ian K.‘s songs, I am not sure at this point which ones that I liked the best. Ian K. obviously has a lot of shows under his belt because he seemed very comfortable addressing the crowd and shamelessly self-promoted himself including advertising that he gave out his music for free if you contacted him. After Löve Razër‘s set, I approached Ian K. to ask if I could purchase a physical CD but alas, he had run out of those and in any case, advised me that he did not like to sell merchandise at shows. In any case, Ian K. promised to hook me up with some of his music later on and he has been a man of his word. You can check out some of Ian K.‘s videos with the links below.
Next up was the highlight of the night — Löve Razër. What struck me after having seen Löve Razër play at quite a few different venues in the last seven months is that the Bovine Sex Club‘s stage is likely too small for them. I am surprised that I didn’t see some major collisions during their set and in fact, there was a pretty close call one time when singer Sydney Snow did some sort of spin-a-rama move and almost collided into both bassist Metal Mike and guitarist Micky Bonez. Another thing that struck me was how much I love Bonez‘s guitar tone. It just sounds so good! Apparently, he just plugs and plays to achieve that great sound.
Löve Razër‘s set was really just like all the other times that I had seen them play — a high energy kick ass set that made me feel like I was at the Sunset Strip during hair metal’s golden ’80s era. One thing that Löve Razër have recently done — and which is a wise move — has been to drop the Mötley Crüe covers from their set. There were already too many similarities between Mötley Crüe and Löve Razër to start with such as the blonde singer with three dark haired band members, Löve Razër bassist Metal Mike looking a lot like Nikki Sixx including seemingly using the same type of bass, Löve Razër drummer Crissy Stixx flipping his drum sticks very much the way that Tommy Lee used to do, and so forth. Best for Löve Razër to distance themselves a bit from the Crüe, which they have certainly done by dropping the cover songs from the latter. After all, just five months prior, three of the seven covers played by Löve Razër (with a sixteen song set) were Mötley Crüe cover songs.
This time around, the three cover songs played by Löve Razër were three that I heard before from them but not from the Crüe. Quiet Riot‘s “Bang Your Head (Metal Health),” Skid Row‘s “Monkey Business” and Guns N’ Roses‘ “Welcome To The Jungle” all received the Löve Razër treatment. I was also glad that Löve Razër dropped their Bob Seger cover song “Her Strut” which was a staple of their set during the first few times that I had seen them play.
While Löve Razër‘s renditions of the various covers that they play are fun to hear, I’m all about the original music so that’s what I wanted to hear from them. They did not disappoint playing all of the tracks from their debut EP Rock ‘N’ Roll Addiction (which landed the #5 spot on Sleaze Roxx’s Top Ten Albums of 2016) as well as six other original songs, some of which I am really starting to know quite well from hearing the band play them live so many times. Out of Löve Razër‘s unreleased songs played on this night, my favorites were “Partied Out Freak” and “Trip To Nowhere.” From what I understand, Löve Razër had the green light from the Bovine to play until 1:00 am but alas, they ended their set with about 15 minutes to spare. After Löve Razër‘s set, I got the setlist from the band but I can’t recall exactly whether all the unreleased songs were played and in that order but whatever the case, there it is.
Löve Razër’s setlist:
01. Turn It Up
02. Bang Your Head (Metal Health) (Quiet Riot cover)
04. No Limits
05. Partied Out Freak
07. First Class Bitch
08. Wrong Way
09. Monkey Business (Skid Row cover)
10. Trip To Nowhere
11. Welcome To The Jungle (Guns N’ Roses cover)
12. All Time Sleaze
One cool thing about Löve Razër is that the band members’ parents — or at least some of them — are quite supportive of their “children’s” endeavours. This time around, both of guitarist Micky Bonez‘s proud parents made the trek from Windsor to Toronto. Bonez‘s father did all the driving while his mother manned the group’s merchandise booth. I’ll have to remember that as my kids get older and pick some perhaps long shot but neat endeavours to pursue.