Woodhands and Junior Boys at Rokbar
Having avoided this hipster hangout for long enough, I finally caught wind of a show worth seeing at the Rokbar in Hess Village, Hamilton. I was early, as always. Upon arriving, I was greeted by a modest patio out front, and two monolithic doors that looked fake. Enough to handle a small throng of smokers without overcrowding. Speaking of the crowd, I was pleasantly surprised to not see many young hipsters in the audience. The crowd was mostly aged 25-35, and there was a friendly reaction to the music. Something must be said of the sound system in this place. So crisp, so bassy, warm and clear. While watching the show from the light-up dance floor, the bass was “enough to kick you in the balls”, as noted by Jay. The design of the room was long, with a small division between the bar and the stage/dancefloor. This actually kept most of the sound pressure up near the stage, giving an attenuated volume around the bar. Useful for ordering drinks, or hanging back to talk at the bar. They also routed music right from the board straight down into the bathroom, at a quiet volume, so you wouldn’t miss any of the music. Novel idea!
I was quite happy to find that they at least had a decent beer there, being Creemore Springs. It was to my chagrin that said beer ran out halfway through the night. I asked the bartender what they had, and he listed about half of a dozen varieties of goat urine, one of which was a beer I’d never heard of before. I figured it would be worth the chance, but the bartender refused to give it to me, stating that it was some low-calorie, 3% alcohol variety of donkey spit. I had to pick from the goat urine, it seemed. I chose a green bottled vessel with a name that lends itself to ass jokes the whole world over, and tipped him $5. He gets a shoutout, for without him, I’d have been drinking a beer for pregnant women. I wish I could say the same for the other two blonde bimbos he had to work with. Great to look at, hard to interact with. Typical Hess Village.
Having seen Woodhands numerous times, I was really there to see Junior Boys. That said, Woodhands put on a great show, as always, with a few surprises. The Junior Boys then got up and blew my mind. While their albums are all impressive, I really didn’t expect such an awesome presence live. These guys sound much bigger than their albums give as indication. Seriously, check em out.