LÖVE RAZËR STRONGLY IMPRESS WITH FIRST EVER SHOW IN TORONTO
Date: June 21, 2016
Venue: Linsmore Tavern
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I can’t remember the last time that I was so excited to see a new band play live. New sleaze rock band Löve Razër have had my attention and definite interest ever since the group was brought to my attention by fellow Sleaze Roxx writer Mark Hovarth and I heard their song “First Class Bitch.” For those who are longing for the days of great sleaze rock n’ roll from the ’80s when groups like Mötley Crüe, L.A. Guns and Guns N’ Roses were releasing some of the best albums of all-time, Löve Razër may just be what the doctor has ordered to fill that void.
In the last week, I had noticed that Löve Razër, who are based in Windsor, Ontario, Canada (which is about a four hour drive from Toronto), had scheduled a show at Cherry Cola’s in downtown Toronto for June 24th but alas, I was not able to make that one. A few days later, I noticed that Löve Razër had scheduled an additional gig at the Linsmore Tavern in the east side of Toronto. While distance would be an issue since I live in the west side of Toronto, the set time of 8:45 to 9:45 pm had me intrigued to say the least. If I could somehow take care of my parental duties (put the kids to bed) and be home by 10:30 pm (I know, it’s admittedly a little odd for a grown man to have a curfew but my wife works night shifts so I need to be home to take care of the kids), I could feasibly attend Löve Razër‘s gig at the Linsmore Tavern. Having never been to the Linsmore Tavern before, I was also concerned that Löve Razër‘s set time would get pushed back meaning that I might miss the band’s entire set. I was even more concerned when Löve Razër advised me that they were the second band to play on Indie Night at the Linsmore Tavern with the first band scheduled to play from 8:00 to 8:45 pm and Löve Razër‘s set to start at 9:00 pm.
Nevertheless, the excitement to see Löve Razër was just proving too strong. As is often the case, putting my kids to bed took longer than expected and by the time I got out of my three year old’s bedroom, the clock had struck 9:01 pm. What to do? With a little traffic, it would likely take me 45 minutes to get to the Linsmore Tavern and if that was the case, I would have to turn around as soon as I got there to make it back home for 10:30 pm. What to do? I decided, “Fuck it. Even if I have to drive for 90 minutes and only catch a few minutes of Löve Razër‘s set, that’s worth it.” By the time I hopped into my car, it was 9:04 pm and Sleaze Roxx writer Mark Hovarth sent me a Facebook message advising that the band was setting up. To my delight, there was no traffic on the highway and roads leading from my house to the Linsmore Tavern, and I made it to destination in about 20 minutes. I quickly parked my car and headed towards the loud music emanating from a nearby building. As I opened the Linsmore Tavern’s front door, I was surprised to see the band playing right in front of me. I was pretty much walking on their “stage” to make it to the bar and/or any of the tables and chairs. I was greeted by Hovarth and rival website Decibel Geek editor/writer The Meister. I’ve been to many concerts in the last couple of years with Hovarth but this was clearly the most excited that I had ever seen him to see a band play live.
I could understand Hovarth‘s excitement. There was something really magical about Löve Razër on this night. It felt like I was seeing Mötley Crüe when they first started and when they were playing dingy bars (no offence Linsmore Tavern) while all dolled up from head to toe. The Mötley Crüe comparisons are inevitable for Löve Razër at this time. Bassist Metal Mike looks a lot like Nikki Sixx including with his bass circa Shout At The Devil era. All of the Löve Razër band members have black dark hair except for singer Sydney Snow who has light blond hair just like Mötley Crüe‘s Vince Neil. Löve Razër played five cover songs and two of them (“Live Wire” and “Shout At The Devil”) were from Mötley Crüe. On a side note and funny enough, after the show and while perusing Löve Razër‘s setlist (courtesy of Snow), I thought that there were three Mötley Crüe covers on the setlist confusing Löve Razër‘s track “Toast To The Night” for Mötley Crüe‘s song “Toast Of The Town.”
As I made my way to a seat near the bar, Snow, whom I had never met before, looked at me and pointed out “nice shirt” to my new Löve Razër t-shirt (courtesy of the band — thanks guys!). As soon as I heard Snow singing the group’s blistering version of “Shout At The Devil”, I thought that he sounded better live than what I had heard on the group’s phenomenal debut EP Rock ‘N’ Roll Addiction. He also reminded me of Steel Panther‘s Michael Starr with his demeanour, good looks and mannerisms. Clearly, the guy seemed very comfortable on stage despite being only about 20 years old.
The whole band looked fantastic decked in sleaze rock metal gear from head to toe. Guitarist Micky Bonez reminded me of a cross between Guns N’ Roses‘ Slash and Mötley Crüe‘s Mick Mars with his looks and very col guitar tone. Good luck to me getting much of a look of Bonez‘s face because it seemed that his hair was covering his face for almost the entire set. Drummer Crissy Stixx was all smiles while pounding his drums, which could be heard well outside the Linsmore Tavern and clear as day. Bassist Metal Mike looked like a Nikki Sixx lookalike and wasn’t shy to move around the admittedly small “stage.” But the star of the night was Snow who just seemed to have that certain “je ne sais quoi” — that “it” or star factor — that can make or break a band. Snow wasn’t afraid to address the crowd either as he pointed out that Löve Razër were playing in Toronto for the very first time!
As it turns out, I missed five songs including “Turn It Up” from Löve Razër‘s debut EP Rock ‘N’ Roll Addiction and the group’s cover of “Live Wire.” Although I enjoyed all of the covers that I heard from Löve Razër, which included rousing renditions of Quiet Riot‘s “Bang Your Head (Metal Health)” and Guns N’ Roses‘ “Welcome To The Jungle”, I enjoyed Löve Razër‘s newer tracks that I had never heard of before including “Partied Out Freak” and “Toxic Tears.” It was nice to see Löve Razër close their very good set with “All Time Sleaze” which is one of their own original songs. It was also cool to hear Löve Razër play so many songs as the band ended up playing a whopping 13 songs in less than an hour. Löve Razër‘s set finished with quite a few people getting out of their chairs to give them a standing ovation.
The funniest scene of the night was seeing someone hold up their little dog in the small window of Linsmore Tavern’s front door. The dog was apparently enjoying Löve Razër‘s performance and if you look closely to the photo of guitarist Micky Bonez, you should be able to notice the “rocking” dog. After Löve Razër‘s set and before getting back home by 10:30 pm, I quickly introduced myself to Snow who insisted that I meet the rest of the band’s members. I had noticed the band members’ great camaraderie back when I interviewed all of them less than a month ago and once again, I was impressed with Snow who made sure that all of his bandmates were in on whatever was taking place. Snow eventually pointed out to Hovarth that Löve Razër were driving back to Windsor (a four hour drive) tonight before turning around and coming back to play at Cherry Cola’s in downtown Toronto three days later. Now, that is commitment!
Overall, I was very happy to catch at least part of Löve Razër‘s set and first ever show in Toronto. There is something really magical about this band and it just seems that the band has the total package. After hearing some of their other original songs, I simply can’t wait for them to release their debut full-length album!
Löve Razër’s setlist:
01. Toast To The Night
02. Turn It Up
03. Her Strut (Bob Seger cover)
04. Wrong Way
05. Live Wire (Mötley Crüe cover)
06. Shout At The Devil (Mötley Crüe cover)
07. Partied Out Freak
08. Bang Your Head (Metal Health) (Quiet Riot cover)
09. Toxic Tears
10. First Class Bitch (with drum solo)
12. Welcome To The Jungle (Guns N’ Roses cover)
13. All Time Sleaze