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TENNIS live in Toronto


photography: Brian Patterson

For those of you outside of Canada who are not familiar with the legendary  Horseshoe Tavern, it’s a dive bar in Toronto that has hosted pretty much every major rock band during its early years. And when we say major we don’t exaggerate – we mean The Rolling Stones, The Police, Ramones, and many, many others.

Every band has a starting point and it is safe to say that in Toronto  The Horseshoe is it, and has been since 1947.

Now that we’ve set the scene, enter the dark bar, packed wall to wall with an energetic crowd patiently waiting for Tennis to start. The no-nonsense environment seemed very fitting for this no-nonsense harmonic Denver indie pop band.

Started by Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley as a personal project, the music was never intended for sharing. But as good music always does, it took its own course and led this married couple on a journey, building their tracks up into a full album, Cape Dory, released by Fat Possum in January 2011.

After the single, “Marathon,” went viral last fall, Tennis became an easily recognizable band among the downtempo music fanatics and this show was sold out weeks ahead of time.

Regardless of the harmonic Beach Boys-like feel, the crowd seem to be really getting into the groove, trying to get as close to the band as possible, unexpectedly causing a mosh pit during what could have easily been a soundtrack to the original Dirty Dancing.

Recently joined by the drummer James Barone, Tennis created their second album, Young & Old. Barone was brought on board for his dirty rock background, which without a doubt added a new dimension to the sound without straying too far from its blissful and airy beginnings.

The show was definitely worth the walk in the rain because listening to Tennis in some distant way made us feel the warm sand on the ground.

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