Concert Review: Stereophonics @ The Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, Ontario (with full setlist)

Question: How many Welsh bands does it take to rock The Danforth Music Hall in Toronto? Answer: Just one – Stereophonics. Wednesday night provided PHM Lord and Overseer Pete and I a chance to see yet another big UK band (who usually play big arenas across the pond) in a smaller venue here in Toronto – when will the rest of the Canadians catch on? So now allow me to take on the role of Mr. Writer and tell you all about the show. I’m going to tell it like it is, like it really is, now that I’ve gone on home.

Stereophonics are touring in support of their 8th studio album, Graffiti On The Train. Scanning the crowd pre-show, there was the obligatory Welsh flag or two. It’s a pretty bad-ass flag if you’ve never seen it. It’s green and white with a red dragon on it, very Game-of-Thronesish. No Gareth Bale Real Madrid jerseys though that I could see – that would have been die-hard.

The band hit the stage just after 9PM to launch into one of the new tracks, Catacomb. During it, lead singer/guitarist/songwriter Kelly Jones took time to say “Toronto, it’s good to see you”. The song’s loud, rocking, climactic ending did its best to help wake the crowd up.

The crowd itself was pretty quiet to begin with. The new album isn’t out (update:) has only been out for a fews weeks in North America and I found that most people didn’t seem to be familiar with the new material.

The crowd did come alive when the band would bust out the big hits of old. There was hand-clapping during Local Boy In The Photograph as well as other songs. The ultra-poppy Have A Nice Day got a good reaction with one girl near me saying “Finally!” when they played it (editor’s note: that was actually me, Millar). Someone else nearby must have taken the lyrics to heart because the smell of reefer began to fill the air.

The first big singalong came during the song Maybe Tomorrow. Kelly introduced the song by telling a story of how the band was asked for permission to use it on a movie soundtrack and that the band had forgotten they had let the movie Smurfs 2 Crash use it until they saw the film win an Oscar.

Another massive singalong came during I Wouldn’t Believe Your Radio with the crowd yelling the “you can have it all if you like!” part.

Stereophonics at Danforth Music Hall, Toronto (Copyright: PeteHatesMusic)
Something weird happened near us in the crowd during one of the new songs, In A Moment. Somebody went down because people were frantically trying to get security over. I hope whoever it was is OK but I’ll be honest, my first thought was it’s gotta be either the stereophonicaltypical stoner dude or drunk chick down. However, security were scanning the ground, so maybe it was the odd beer cup mixed with the sloping floor that led to the spill.

A fun game Pete and I played during the show was: Who does the band’s new drummer look like most? To give you a mental picture, Pete said “a fatter Weird Al, especially in that shirt”. If you ask me, the drummer looks more like Gabe Kaplan as Mr. Kotter, or the late comedian Avery Schreiber (look em up kids!). For you acidheads younger folks out there, think Benicio Del Toro’s character in Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. All kidding aside, the drummer killed it all night, including a little mini-solo at the end of Live ‘n’ Love. I’d let a drummer who looked like Alf play in my band if he was as good as this dude.

By the show’s end the crowd was fully into it. The band sure knows how to pick their songs for the encore. Kelly started things off doing a solo acoustic performance of Billy Daveys Daughter. Then came three crowd favs: Just Looking, A Thousand Trees, and Dakota.

You could see the crowd’s energy start to build-up at the start of A Thousand Trees to where a mosh pit nearly broke out. Dakota, what can I say? Man, is it ever popular! I can’t say I like that song as much as most fans but I still belted it out at top volume along with everyone else. It was easily the loudest the place was all night. I still have no idea though how that song became the big show-stopper finale number.

The band itself was loud, tight, and sounded wicked. As I mentioned earlier, the drummer was an absolute machine behind the kit. The setlist was good (and long!); I really enjoyed hearing the new tunes, especially the bombastic Muse-ish, Bond theme wannabe Roll The Dice. Another hi-lite for me was Pete’s quick dismissal of Been Caught Cheating as “a Bon Jovi tune” (editor’s note: can’t believe you put this in here, but I’ll leave it in).

Only two things could have improved the night: 1) crowd being more into the whole show, not just old songs 2) there wasn’t a freakin’ sloped cement floor at the venue, my legs and back are f’n killin me!

Stereophonics still got it though, 16 years on and still going strong. Keep writing those songs Mr. Jones.

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PHM Rating for Stereophonics: 8.0 out of 10

Setlist for Stereophonics @ The Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada – September 25, 2013

1 – Catacomb
2 – Local Boy In The Photograph
3 – Superman
4 – Graffiti On The Train
5 – We Share The Same Sun
6 – Indian Summer
7 – Have A Nice Day
8 – Live ‘n’ Love
9 – Vegas Two Times
10 – Mr. Writer
11 – In A Moment
12 – Nothing Precious At All
13 – Maybe Tomorrow
14 – Roll The Dice
15 – Violins And Tambourines
16 – Been Caught Cheating
17 – I Wouldn’t Believe Your Radio
18 – The Bartender And The Thief

19 – Billy Daveys Daughter (solo acoustic)
20 – Just Looking
21 – A Thousand Trees
22 – Dakota

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6 Responses

  1. Shannon says:

    Dude! The way it REALLY is; the album IS out in North America! ( Bought it 2 weeks ago ;)

  2. Pete says:

    Fact checking is over rated. Millar will be pissed he bought some imported copy a few weeks ago then.

    Thanks for pointing out our many, many flaws Shannon. Hope you enjoyed the show.

    • Shannon says:

      Just a gentle correction – wouldn’t want anyone to miss purchasing locally ;)

      Was a fantastic show :)

  3. Millar says:


  4. Adam says:

    Dakota was the finale cos it’s their only UK number 1. Huge hit.

    I liked the sloped floors because unlike places like the Kool Haus, it allows you to get a guaranteed great view if you’re not an NBA player.
    Best I’ve ever seen them, this gig.

  5. Pete says:

    Hey Adam – I don’t mind the sloped floors, as I agree with you. And Millar is taller, so I don’t know what he’s on about, haha.

    As for Dakota, they had higher charting songs in the USA, so despite Dakota being a hit, I guess he found it odd as it’s not a HUGE single in his mind (despite it being a big single – just not the biggest).

    Regardless, great show – certaintly different than when they “lost” their drummer and played an acoustic show a few years back