Blajk and Romes at Rivoli, Toronto (CAN)

Every now and then, our Kaylee Smoke tells us a bit about shows in Canada and even makes us discover some of her country’s hidden treasures…

Blajk - Toronto, March 2016 © Kaylee Smoke //
Blajk – Toronto, March 2016 © Kaylee Smoke //

Blajk is a new band out of Toronto, Ontario. Having only been formed in early 2015, they’ve played a good handful of shows, most recently coming off of a small Ontario tour with Young Empires. Just a few weeks ago, they opened up a show in Toronto on March 10th at The Rivoli for newcomers Romes, also from Toronto.

Blajk took the stage to a sold out venue; people stood together from wall to wall, front of the stage to the back of the room. At the moment, the band don’t have any full EPs for sale, just three (incredibly captivating) songs individually released and available for download online. But, though the band are still fairly new and only have a couple shirt designs for purchase at their merch table, those three songs are known well enough that people in the crowd were singing along.
Just like their music, Blajk have a very relaxed and intimate performance style, allowing the music to speak for itself. With vocalist Jordan Radics working the audience, both with his rich vocals and his charismatic charm, the rest of the band (Thomas Conrad [bass/keys], Paul Doherty [guitar], Brent Gordon [guitar], and Ray McTaggart [drums]) can be completely immersed in their own parts and deliver an incredibly impressive performance for such a young group. Even if you closed your eyes, the difference between the studio recording of their songs to the live performance is hardly noticeable, and is something to be held in high regard.

Romes - Toronto, March 2016 © Kaylee Smoke //
Romes – Toronto, March 2016 © Kaylee Smoke //

Following Blajk were the headliners, Romes. Just like Blajk, you won’t find too much about Romes online. In fact, March 10th was their first show, but you wouldn’t know it by judging their stage presence. If they hadn’t announced that it was their first show, the audience could have watched the entire set thinking Romes had been a group for years.
The band wasted no time bursting into their set, it was high energy from the first to the very last note. It was hard to know what to expect out of the band before the performance, the only thing teasing what they sounded like are around fifteen seconds long and don’t actually give away too much of what is soon to be released. But, once the group came bursting onto the small Rivoli stage, they grabbed the entire venues attention and kept it there for the duration of their performance.
Even after Romes’ encore had finished and the house lights came back on, the entire show seemed far too short. Both groups have caught our eye and have left us with a deep desire for more music, be it live or studio.

Words & Photos :
Kaylee Smoke

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