Born Ruffians Provide Warmth from the Cold Winds of Canada
If you’re a fan of good music and a good time, London, Ontario’s Hideaway Records and Bar was the place to be this past Saturday, as Born Ruffians provided the soundtrack to an absolutely memorable night. Offering hundreds of fans an intimate musical experience with a house-party vibe, the two-level bar and lounge was the scene of an indie-rock frenzy as the Toronto outfit played various songs from their entire discography.
Hours before the band even took the stage, anxious fans continuously marched inside from the cold winds that tormented the streets. Downstairs, the crowd drew thicker and thicker as people squeezed their way on to the tightly filled dance-floor. Upstairs, fans fought for spots where they could comfortably lean over the railing and get a clean view of the band.
As the band made their way to the stage in their tight jeans and loosely buttoned shirts, the loud banter of the crowd instantly transformed into mass applause. Various colored lights traveled across the stage in a manner that reflected the thrill of the crowd, whose screams nearly matched the volume of the bands opening song “Kurt Vonnegut.” Building on such excitement, the band continued their upbeat set list with such fan favorites as “Badonkadonkey,” “Retard Canard” and “I Need A Life”, all of which were received with the high-pitched shrieks and spirited gyrations of an audience that had been overcome with energy.
Front-man Luke Lalonde thanked the crowd for their enthusiasm before breaking into some of the bands slower songs; the chillingly mellow “What To Say” ultimately brought fans to a rare state of silence, while “With Her Shadow” turned the audience into a mob of synchronized head-bobbers and hand-clappers with its Paul Simon feel. A spontaneous cover of Roger Miller’s “King of the Road” brought smiles to the faces of those both on and off the stage, and showcased the bands diversity.
With their clean-cut sound and high-spirited set list, Born Ruffians already had the crowd under a spell before ultimately putting them over with their closing track “Needle.” By the time the song was finished and the band left the stage, the individual cries for one more song turned into a mass chant from both levels of the bar. Finally after several minutes, which was most likely used to gain back some of the energy they just bombarded their fans with, the band returned with a high-powered rendition of “Foxes Mate For Life”.
From the smiles on the faces of the fans lingering around the bar afterwards, it’s a safe assumption that I was not the only one to leave the concert excited about what I just saw. To say that the concert was fun is a complete understatement. Through their pure energy and upbeat performance, Born Ruffians turned total strangers into friends, and a small concert into a party that could have lasted all night.
Article by Adam Lalama