Date: August 19, 2016
Venue: Cherry Cola’s Rock ‘n’ Rolla Cabaret
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Note to self. Take a closer look at who are the opening bands, especially when you are going to get to the venue early before any of the bands have even started to play. This was the second night in a row that I was going to see Löve Razër play live and I think the excitement of seeing what could possibly be the next big sleaze rock band clouded my vision or thinking. While Löve Razër had some good opening bands playing ahead of them on the first night — although I really can’t speak to the first band since I missed them and have never heard them play — this time, the bill was a mismatch of styles. The Sleaze Roxx posse consisting of myself, writers Mark Hovarth and Eduardo, and one-time photographer Allan arrived so early to Cherry Cola’s Rock ‘n’ Rolla Cabaret that we received the discounted price for making it through the doors before 10:00 pm. We were there so early that Löve Razër weren’t even in the venue yet.
While it was definitely a lot of fun hanging out with the Sleaze Roxx posse and getting to know each Löve Razër band member a little better, I was paying the price for the previous late night with little sleep and a full work day afterwards. With no scheduled down time for a little cat nap or anything, I was pretty tired heading into the evening and having to wait one hour for the opening band to hit the stage was kind of tough towards the end. The evening was billed as Metal & Surf and I did not know what to expect with respect to the “surf” part. One of the Löve Razër guys did advise that there was only one band ahead of them so that was already some good news but being the rather narrow minded musical listener that I am, I just did not enjoy Luau Or Die‘s “surf” rock set even if the group did pull off an instrumental version of Judas Priest‘s classic “Breaking The Law.” After a long hour waiting for Luau Or Die‘s set to end, Löve Razër were finally up.
Unlike the previous night in Oshawa, there was quite a turnout to see Löve Razër with the crowd chanting their name before they went up on the very tiny stage. The young upstarts did not disappoint playing virtually the same set as the previous night with the only change seemingly being changing their cover song of Mötley Crüe‘s “Ten Seconds ‘Til Love” to “Girls, Girls, Girls” before the former appeared in the form of an encore at the end of the night. The average age of the crowd members at Cherry Cola’s was definitely younger than the previous night at The Atria making for a more spirited audience during the show. There were also quite a few younger females near the front of the stage lapping up whatever attention that Löve Razër frontman Sydney Snow would throw their way.
Just like the night before, I enjoyed Löve Razër‘s original compositions more than hearing the various covers that they had to bolster their setlist. After all, if I really want to hear Mötley Crüe, Skid Row or Quiet Riot, I can put on their albums and in the case of the latter two, attend their concerts when they come into town. Having spoken to Löve Razër‘s always affable bassist / manager Metal Mike before the show, I suspect that the group has a couple of other original songs that they could have included in their set rather than the seven cover songs offered on this night. While I suspect that crowd members that were not familiar with Löve Razër really enjoyed the cover songs (just like I previously had when Luau Or Die covered Judas Priest‘s “Breaking The Law”), I really think that Löve Razër‘s original compositions are strong enough that they could do without some of their cover songs. I wasn’t the only one to seemingly feel that way as I spotted Diemonds‘ guitarist Daniel Dekay after the show who also seemed to echo my sentiments.
Despite the very small stage — let’s just call it “cozy” — Snow was surprisingly able to twirl his mike stand without hitting anyone and Snow, Metal Mike and guitarist Micky Bonez moved around as much as they could without bumping into each other. Having spoken to both Metal Mike and Bonez about their musical influences and Löve Razër‘s writing process prior to the show, I could now identify certain songs (such as “Partied Out Freak” if I recall correctly) where Metal Mike‘s death metal preferences or tendencies might have creeped up into the songwriting. Nevertheless, Löve Razër‘s sound is for the most part close to the groups that they occasionally covered — mainly Mötley Crüe and Guns N’ Roses.
Although Löve Razër played virtually the same setlist and Snow‘s banter between songs was quite similar to what he said between songs the previous night, I enjoyed the group’s performance the first night more than at Cherry Cola’s. Part of it was definitely that I was quite tired this time around and the other part was that The Atria’s stage had to at least be double the size of that of Cherry Cola’s giving Metal Mike and Bonez in particular a lot more room to put on a show. I suspect that Löve Razër probably enjoyed their set at Cherry Cola’s more than the one at The Atria simply due to the rather boisterous and bigger crowd at the former. Hearing the crowd chanting your band’s name and even at one point Snow‘s name at Cherry Cola’s has to be a lot more fun than a smattering of applause between songs at The Atria. At the end of Löve Razër‘s set on this night, a good portion of the crowd was chanting “We love Löve Razër” or something to that effect.
As previously noted, my favorite songs that Löve Razër played were their originals with the three from their debut EP Rock ‘N’ Roll Addiction including their single “First Class Bitch” (which was recently included in Sleaze Roxx’s Ten Great Songs of 2016 thus far) standing out given that I was quite familiar with them and frankly since they are all great songs. I was also impressed with the group’s professionalism given that Löve Razër drummer Crissy Stixx refused to drink any alcohol prior to taking the stage and singer Sydney Snow stayed away from smoking any cigarettes to take care of his “instrument” — his vocal chords. Löve Razër were also very kind to Sleaze Roxx giving multiple shout outs to our group and website throughout the night. After the show, I also got the opportunity to chat with Diemonds‘ guitarist Daniel Dekay who simply got me very excited about the sleaze rockers’ next album which is already in the works. I’ve got a feeling that Diemonds are going to make it three in a row with their next record based on what Dekay told me about what the group is focusing on. And what I mean by that is three fantastic albums in a row as Diemonds‘ previous albums The Bad Pack (2011) and Never Wanna Die (2015) are definitely among my favorite and most played albums in the last five years.
Overall, Löve Razër put on another memorable performance and are definitely a group to watch for in the future. Had I not been so tired by the time that I got to Cherry Cola’s, I think that I would have enjoyed the group’s set even more but I am glad that I made it out in any case.
Löve Razër’s setlist:
01. Turn It Up
02. Bang Your Head (Metal Health) (Quiet Riot cover)
03. Her Strut (Bob Seger cover)
04. Wrong Way
05. Partied Out Freak
06. Girls, Girls, Girls (Mötley Crüe cover)
08. Toast To The Night
09. Toxic Tears (with guitar solo)
10. New Song
11. Monkey Business (Skid Row cover)
12. Live Wire (Mötley Crüe cover)
13. First Class Bitch (with drum solo)
14. Welcome To The Jungle (Guns N’ Roses cover)
15. All Time Sleaze
16. Ten Seconds ‘Til Love (Mötley Crüe cover)