Rock Ranger / The Happy Medium / Ermine
July 6 – Maple Leaf Lounge
Though the crowd at the leaf last Saturday night might not have been huge, they were definitely treated to a fine night of rockin’ out. It was probably (in my personal opinion, and since I’m the only one here, it’s what I’ll have to safely base this on) one of the best shows I have ever seen at the Maple Leaf Lounge, and there a lot of good shows there regularly, so that’s saying something.
First act up was The Happy Medium. This set was consistently energetic, and upbeat, with some of the best vocal harmonies I’ve heard in a while. They have an almost Harvey Danger type sound and feel (more so off of their second album, in case you’re wondering). This New Brunswick based group, meld together the sounds of pop-rock and Indie rock (now there’s a contradiction in terms for ya). They brought a very tight, very dance-to-able, act to the Leaf.
Next up was Ermine, another group from NB (the “Longest stretch of road” according to Jay of R.R.). Though I didn’t actually “see” most of this set, I heard it from the restaurant section of the place. They had a darker feel to them (the music that is – the guys seemed very upbeat and glad to be playing). They had more of a “Finger Eleven” meets riff-rock sound, and were a definite crowd pleaser. Also, during their set, much to the delight of the crowd, Nick ran around outside with a giant pylon on his head. I only mention this because even the band took notice, and wanted to incorporate it into their set.
Rock Ranger topped the evening off with what I would say was their best set that I have ever seen. It was so tight and so very rockin’. Absolutely nothing bad can be said about it. Some members of the crowd even got into it, and attempted to join the trio in singing along with their new song “No Shale”. The whole crowd was a wave of bobbing heads and tapping feet. Jay is one of the best showmen around, with such antics last night as playing outside on Charlotte St. (which I thought was downright hilarious, because he looked so forlorn looking at his band mates through the window out in the cold), and encouraging folks to sing 80’s metal tunes. And I’ve never seen a man more hard on a set of drums, yet get such an amazing sound as Mike. Rock Ranger is rock personified – that’s all that needs to be said.