Ginger Ale and the Monowhales at Cherry Colas15 March 2017 / by David Matta (author)
Ginger Ale and the Monowhales have a reputation for eclectic, Flaming Lips-esque shows. Add the actual Flaming Lips to the equation, and it makes for a night of lights, pool noodles and full-fledged psychedelia. At Wayne Coyne’s urging, Cherry Cola’s was packed despite the weather Monday night for the Flaming Lips after-party show, with the crowd waiting to float away towards tangerine trees and marmalade skies.
Oshawa blues rock duo Crown Lands opened the night with a bombastic set that, despite the seeming lack of hallucinogens in their music, was the perfect way to start the night. The Monowhales then decorated the stage with lights, tinsel and streamers, and launched into their set. The show immediately felt like a (Hunter S. Thompson) ‘freak power’ party, with the Monowhales running for mayor in a town full of bands that more or less only stagger around onstage. I use ‘freak power’ in the most endearing way possible, after all I didn’t expect to have confetti canons fired off so close to my face, but I was oh-so-glad that I did.
On stage, singer Sally Shaar demanded the full attention of the audience with powerful vocals and stage presence. As the band went into ‘Say What You Want to Say’, friends of the band launched pool noodles and tassels into the crowd, sparking their energy in a colorful and reflective frenzy.
At first stunts like that might seem awkwardly audacious for such a small venue, but when done by a band that dressed and acted the part, such antics were well received by the crowd, who could not get enough. The band was also noticeably excited to be in front of a crowd of friends and fans, playing with all the energy they could through old songs and songs from their latest EP (including ‘White Walls’, a band favourite according to Shaar). The set also included two covers, territory the band doesn’t usually go into, but what is a party without at least one Killers song? The crowd chanted along to a passionate ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’ and the band finished their set with a blistering version of Jet’s ‘Are You Gonna be My Girl?’ with keyboardist Holly Jaimeson absolutely nailing the iconic bass line on synth.
If you’re looking for a night full of electrifying live music, look no further than a Ginger Ale and the Monowhales show, as you’d be hard pressed to find another Toronto band that rivals The Monowhales dedication to their live performances.