Tag Archives: Charles Austin

NXNE Part 3: The Super Friendz

Matt Murphy

I was surprised by a friend when she handed me two North By Northeast wristbands. I promptly started scouring the NXNE schedule, these are the stories.

The Super Friendz

15 June 2013, 12am

The Great Hall

Drew Yamada

The last time I saw The Super Friendz perform in Toronto, I left the show with such a high that lasted me for a whole week, and no it was no artificially induced. It was teh first time I saw The Super Friendz live, and I expected it to be the only time I’d ever see that classic ’90s Halifax rock band. Fate seems to want to correct me.

Fate seemed to have a different plan for me. With NXNE came an announcement that The Super Friendz would be playing at The Great Hall. I usually avoid NXNE, as I’m not doing the whole blogging thing much any more and it’s at a terrible time for those of us who have day jobs in schools. Then when I was handed a free wristband, I was able to pass on my ticket to another and make some stranger happy.

It didn’t feel like the band hasn’t played together for a decade (except two shows) and the band members seemed to be having a great time up on stage. I don’t know what to say other than I left with a giant grin on my face. I loved watching the people in the audience during the encore going crazy to hear “Karate Man” live. Watching Matt Murphy in his Murph-tastic zone is always a pleasure.

Setlist:

  1. When They Paid Me
  2. Undertow
  3. Better Call
  4. Come Clean
  5. Rescue Us From Boredom
  6. Restricted
  7. Boots
  8. Up and Running
  9. Just Say So
  10. Down In Flames
  11. 10 lbs.
  12. <encore break>
  13. Absurd Without It
  14. Karate Man
  15. Super Friendz Theme1
  1. I think []

NXNE Part 1: Mike O’Neill

Mike O'Neill

I was surprised by a friend when she handed me two North By Northeast wristbands. I promptly started scouring the NXNE schedule, these are the stories.

Mike O’Neill

14 June 2013, 10pm

The Great Hall

Mike O'Neill

Mike O’Neill doesn’t play Toronto often. I don’t think he plays all that often, period. Mike O’Neill was, once upon a time, the bass player and songwriter for The Inbreds. The Inbreds were signed to Sloan’s Murderecords record label in the 1990s. Since then, over the past 13 years, O’Neill has released three solo records.

Mike O'Neill

Celebrating the release of a new book released by Sloan about the 7″ singles released by Murderecords, Mike O’Neill opened the show. Shining as always was O’Neill’s uncanny ability to write infectious pop songs and a charming smile that seemed to melt the hearts of all the girls. He opened with the pop song “Henry” and only got better with “Don’t Forget to Breathe.” He continued with “One Pair of Shoes” one of O’Neill’s most beautiful songs.

Mike O'Neill

O’Neill also played his most famous song. In 2001, Neko Case released an EP on vinyl only which featured some traditional songs and some songs by Canadian songwriters. For Canadian Amp, Case chose such songs as Neil Young’s “Dreamin’ Man,” “Knock Loud” by Sook-Yin Lee, and opened the album with Mike O’Neill’s beautiful song “Andy.”

Mike O'Neill

Backing O’Neill were the powerhouse trio of Chris Murphy of Sloan on drums, Matt Murphy of The Flashing Lights on guitar, and Charles Austin of The Super Friendz on bass and guitar.

Charles Austin

Setlist:

  1. Henry
  2. Don’t Forget To Breathe
  3. One Pair of Shoes
  4. Colin
  5. This Is Who I Am
  6. Andy
  7. Wasted Time
  8. Alsatian

Matt Murphy

Nostalgia Machine

Last night at Lee’s Palace, The Super Friendz reunited and brought the house down. Holy shit. That was truly one of the best shows I have seen in a long time. I had never seen The Super Friendz in the ’90s, or during their first reunion tour in 2003 or 2004. When they announced they would be playing Halifax Pop Explosion in October, I debated going… all the way to Halifax… for a single band. Fortunately they announced a Toronto date, and those two shows were the entirety of this tour. I’m very happy they decided to come to Toronto.

While I had never seen The Super Friendz, this is the closest as you can see because Adam decided to film me halfway through the song. I have seen The Flashing Lights at least four times, but I suspect that my list is not complete. When Matt Murphy fronted The Flashing Lights, he controlled the stage like no other. He was the frontman’s frontman. When he played in City Field, he just stood in the background, when he played a few solo shows, again he barely had any presence. The last time I saw him own the stage was at the Guy Terrifico CD release show.

Last night, last night, Matt Murphy was back into his form. He was the showman I knew him to be, he even tried to get up on the drum kit, but that failed. He didn’t hump the drum, though.

I was super-excited to see them perform Drew Yamada’s Undertow and Charles Austin’s Rescue Us From Boredom. Yes, I’m not only in it for Matt Murphy… but he really had the best Super Friendz songs.

The set list wasn’t perfect, but it was damn good, and they avoided much of the terrible reunion album Love Energy.

  1. When They Paid Me
  2. Undertow
  3. One Day
  4. Come Clean [Listen here]
  5. Rescue Us From Boredom [Listen here]
  6. Restricted
  7. Better Call
  8. Karate Man
  9. Fireflies
  10. Little Things
  11. Let You Go Cold
  12. Just Say So
  13. The World’s Most Embarrasing Moment
  14. Down In Flames
  15. 10 Lbs. [Listen here]
  16. Girls And Their Boys (encore)
  17. Absurd Without It (encore)
  18. Up & Running (encore)

There were some obviously missing items like Stop-Start and Forever A Day and Prattle On, but I guess it couldn’t be 100% Matt Murphy.