Mt. Joy @ The Velvet Underground

After months and months of below seasonal temperatures and random ice storms, the weather in Toronto finally changed for the better. And to celebrate, the very appropriately named Mt. Joy played the Velvet Underground with their upbeat brand of alternative folk. Opening was Hamilton act, Dan Edmonds.

Edmonds and his crew kicked things off with music that was decidedly more low-key than the headliners, but suitable for the sunny day in an entirely different way. A smooth blend of folk and blue-eyed soul, it was the ideal soundtrack to lying in a hammock by the lake. The soft-spoken Edmonds delivered songs like “When You Find Love” and “Love Can Be a Tunnel” with a cheeky smile; the whole set was a very lighthearted affair.

Mt. Joy, by contrast, were a lot louder than one would have expected. Their crowd was similarly boisterous, and it wasn’t long before the whole venue was jumping about and yelling the lyrics at the top of their lungs. The unbridled enthusiasm was contagious and the band couldn’t help but reciprocate the energy. Although the band is from Philadelphia/Los Angeles, lead vocalist Matt Quinn asked about the score between the Cavs and the Raptors several times throughout the set, throwing his support behind our home team.

Keyboardist Jackie Miclau was also all smiles the entire time as she threw in her psychedelic flourishes to rockers like “Astrovan” and “I’m Your Wreck”. There were some quieter tunes as well, with songs like “Sheep” and “Cardinal” offering a moment for the crowd to catch their breath before the big jams started up again – jams like “Silver Lining”, the band’s current hit burning up the radio airwaves.

The official start to summer might be a ways off, but May 1st really felt like the kick-off to the concert season thanks to Mt. Joy bringing us to their happy place.

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