Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Locke, Moneen, and the Red Tree

Last night, Moneen made their triumphant return to the East coast with the first of two shows in Fredericton (all-ages show at the Kinsmen Centre tonight). The band has never really made it to mainstream punk status, in spite of their jump to the Vagrant label, but their shows seem to keep getting bigger and bigger. The reason, of course, is that they have a reputation for putting on killer live performances. Having seen them twice before, and again last night, I can get behind that rumour.

Here's the thing about Moneen... I came to admire this band at a time when I was still learning a lot about the local indie scene. Moneen came into our little town as an unknown band and blew everyone away on the basis of having some truly memorable songs, incredible stage energy, and generally being interesting people. Who knew such a cool, hard-working band existed on the lonely East Canadian touring circuit?

Two albums later, the energy and the people are still there -- but to be honest, The Red Tree (their latest album) didn't floor me in the same way as their other releases. I'll gladly argue that they are still at the top of their class by busting out of the conventional pop-punk mold a bit, but it's not enough. Not enough to make me forget that my inbetween years of growing into adulthood are over, or that they sound very little like most of the other bands I enjoy these days. Of course, it's not Moneen's fault that my brain came to associate them with such a specific time in my life and that my head is now in a different space.

That said, last night was a really fun show. Kenny Bridges is one of the most charismatic singers I've ever encountered, regardless of genre, and he worked the crowd like it was a reunion of old friends. The band's space in my heart may be a bit smaller to make room for the new generation, but it's far from gone.

[mp3] Moneen - Don't Ever Tell Locke What He Can't Do

* Moneen on MySpace

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