I’ve been living and attending concerts in Toronto for over seven years now, so it’s safe to say I’ve seen a few local bands who got big well before they were known commodities. A few names come to mind like Blood Ceremony, Cauldron, Diemonds, Anvil–hey, they weren’t really that well-known till that movie came out! But now, I can even say I’ve seen a band from Hamilton go from the Toronto scene to the national stage. That band just happens to be called Monster Truck.
I remember the first time I saw these guys at the Bovine. It was NXNE, no CMW, no I think it was NXNE 2010, if I’m not mistaken. I was trying to figure out what bands I should check out on a Thursday night, and I happened to see that Monster Truck was playing the Bovine. And that was all the information that was out there, really; there was no description of the band on the NXNE website, and as I recall, they were simply filed under Rock. But the name alone was awesome enough for me to seek ’em out on Myspace (LOL), and I immediately liked what I heard; retrofied, southern-fried classic rock grooves with soulful singing and Hammond organ. Yeah, might as well check these guys out…
For a while there, it seemed the Truck played the Bovine every couple weeks or so, and while I wasn’t at every one of their shows, I did catch ’em a few times. The following year, at CMW (I’m pretty sure it was CMW this time), they even played Lee’s Palace–but they went on at 1 am and the place was mostly empty. Still didn’t stop them from putting on a solid show, though.
Anyways, I’m not quite sure what happened in the interim–they still only have a couple EPs out, which I downloaded from their site quite some time ago–but the last time I saw Monster Truck, they were opening for Deep Purple at Massey Hall. I guess they’ve toured across the country a couple times, and even opened for Slash in the States. Not only that, but they’re a pretty big name locally, too. They’ll be back at Lee’s in a couple weeks, but the gig’s already sold out in advance. Wait, drop that apostrophe. The gigs are sold out in advance–two of them– Friday and Saturday nites! (I guess they’re sponsored by The Edge or something…)
In any case, to go from playing Lee’s Palace at 1 am in front of maybe 50 people to doing a two night stand there for 850 less than two years later is a pretty meteoric rise. And hey, I’m happy for them. I’d much rather hear that kinda rock on the Canadian charts than fuckin’ Japandroids or something. The downside is that while I live less than two blocks from Lee’s, I still wasn’t able to get a ticket in time. Oh well. I’ll probably see them next year–opening for Rush, maybe?
If you somehow still haven’t heard of Monster Truck, you can check ’em out here.