Sweet Thing (w Young Empires) - Mod Club Theatre - August 18th, 2010

By Sarah Myers
Photos by Dave MacIntyre

www.myspace.com/youngempires
www.sweetthingmusic.com
www.myspace.com/sweetthingmusic

It’s been a long time since I’ve attended at show at the Mod Club that had both the main floor and balcony packed, especially for a band whose debut album was released the day before. Despite their album not being released until last week, Sweet Thing, a five-piece band from Toronto has been continually gaining exposure, especially since being on Billboard Magazine’s ‘Five Up and Coming Artists to Watch in Canada’ list. Among their biggest fans is Canadian Television and Radio host George Stroumboulopoulos. His endorsement of the band seemed as good a reason as any to check them out and so I did, at the official CD release party for their new self-titled record.

Opening for Sweet Thing was another Toronto-based band, Young Empires. Their brand of electro-inspired dance rock is perfect for anyone looking for an incredibly sweaty dance party (think Friendly Fires meets Cut Copy). Without question Young Empires can get a crowd moving, however they fall short with shoddy lyrics and vocals that I found to be hit or miss depending on the song. Overall they were a decent opening act and a perfect one to highlight just how amazing Sweet Thing’s live show really is.

Warning: when attending a Sweet Thing show, be prepared for an all-out battle royale for dance space as they flood your eardrums with power-packed guitar riffs and heart-pounding drums. Clapping and sing-a-longs are inevitable.    

Sweet Thing, named after the Van Morrison song, opened with their super-charged first single “Dance Mother” and progressed into other fan favourites such as “Lazy Susan”, “Over Me”, and “Spider”. Most impressive though, was their cover of Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown”. If there was ever a time when I enjoyed music from Kanye’s catalogue, this was it. 

The set was spectacle without spectacle. From the rain of bubbles and confetti throughout the duration of the set to frontman Owen Carrier walking on top of the bar in the midst of screaming fans, this group is clearly a big band in a little band’s venue. Perhaps a reason for such an entertaining live show is the fact that three of the members already have impressive acting backgrounds, most notably (at least to me, since I spent half the set wracking my brain over his familiarity) is drummer Tyler Kyte, whom at twelve years old I used to watch before school on Popular Mechanics for Kids. How’s that for coming of age?

Another thing that was really great to see was how supportive the families of Sweet Thing band members are, especially because they made up at least ¼ of the crowd, some of which were dancing harder than ravers at Guvernment. The remainder of the crowd was no doubt already huge fans, with good reason and after fighting the flu all week, I didn’t want to dance, but they were giving me no choice.