Cure Gravity @ The Rivoli
By: Jen Reid
Mar. 12, 2009 – Toronto, Canada
It was a primo night for straight-on high-octane rock n' roll at the Rivoli's legendary Back Room. Coalition Entertainment Management's showcase was packed deep with talent – including a midnight run with Can-rock icons Our Lady Peace, the secret guests of the night.
But before the "special guets" swooped in, Cure Gravity rocked the house with their great live presence. Rolling like thunder over the crowd, they managed to get even the too cool Queen Street crowd to bop and sway. One of the surprise moments had to be when the room joined in singing the chorus of their crisp, clear, and uplifting parting ballad, "So Amazing". By that point, frontman Andrew Creelman's job as charisma-machine was done. The audience resembled a congregation of keenos and converts – not that there was ever any chance for apathy.
Creelman is nothing if not a salesman-vocalist who could give Bono a run for his money on personality, energy, crowd appeal, and ambition. He belted it out with a rare kind of passion and, even more rare these days, tonal clarity with a variety of textures. Axeman Eoin McGuirk, bassist Justin Camara, and drummer Keith Reid were a tightly knit community of musicians that provided unrelenting, driving sound throughout the duration of the set. Not once did the tide ebb. Considering the addition of the rhythm section is only months old, that was a notable achievement. The second song of the night, "Not Myself Again", showcased the band's cohesive ability to churn out heart-thumping, floor-stomping rock – Rock with a capital R. As was the point with crowd favourites "The Black Butterfly" and "Beautiful Disaster". It was the first tune of the set, "Bright Like Stars" that betrayed the band as being a little enthusiastically "green." It took until at least mid-song before it sounded like the band had grounded themselves. At the outset, Andrew's super-revved style was noticeably hyper-revved. Without opportunity to devolve, like some, into a series of primal screams, that feeling hung around for the duration of the opener. That's actually a backhand compliment to their songwriting overall though. Cure Gravity's tunes are grounded in highly melodic, soaring vocals, and intricate yet blazing riffs and rhythms. The band, as a package, seems suited for "Big Act" status – and much larger venues. If the evolving professionalism evident in their live act is anything to go by, that's just around the corner.
As an endnote: Our Lady Peace showed up at midnight to play in support of the Coalition crew – a nice touch. They finished recording their new album 5 days ago and previewed two new songs, "All You Did Was Save My Life", and "The Right Stuff". Cure Gravity was tapping their feet. That's probably all the review it needs