Viagra Boys Came Rough and Ready to Toronto’s Lee’s Palace

“Last time I was here in Toronto, I was a beautiful man” confessed Viagra Boys frontman Sebastian Murphy, shirtless and tattooed, to a sold-out Lee’s Palace.

Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden’s punk scene, the physically adept six-piece delivered a thoroughly explosive set. For fans, clearly eager for a taste of something unhinged, they got what they sought. And then some.

There were sax solos during the 90-minute set. There were synthesizers and a keytar, too. There was a sense of irreverent humour that embolden Viagra Boys’ live songs, which already proved strong from past studio albums. In fact, one of their best-loved cuts “Sports” had Murphy name-checking various favourites (eg. baseball) in a prowling growl amid a chugging, mutant backbeat.

Viagra Boys frontman Sebastian Murphy, shirtless and tattooed. Photo by Myles Herod.

Thing is, it’s when their sonic droning kicked in, reverberating inside the walls, that mayhem at Toronto’s Lee’s Palace truly began. Furthermore, playing with the intensity the songs demanded, everyone in Viagra Boys sounded remarkably talented and tightly rehearsed.

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During “Just Like You” (a highlight), sudden time changes came into play, slowing the song’s pace and building tension before it morphed into a calamity of sax, synth bleeps, and pulsating rhythms.

Yet, no matter how heavy the music became throughout the evening, it never lost its sense of melody. Chalk it up to their Swedish style. That, and Sebastian Murphy’s beer-fuelled confidence.

 

Myles Herod

Myles Herod

Traveller, image maker, pop-culture seeker, storyteller, a guy you want around when things go south. Tastes range from Kubrick to Krautrock, Wu-Tang to Wiseau. Currently resides in Toronto, Canada.
Myles Herod