Live Review -Royal Tusk “Thunder in the Tundra”

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They say that if you put in ten thousand hours into something, you can consider yourself an expert. Therefore, after 2 years since their release of TUSK II by Edmonton, Alberta’s ROYAL TUSK, they have toured twice with POP Evil and across the USA. And with the start of the 2020, they are headlining their tour fresh at the start of the decade, Thunder on the Tundra, across Canada with a stop in Montreal. With all those hours, it must certainly add up to ten thousand, if not close too.
The Canadian quartet consisting of Daniel Carriere (Vocals, Guitar), Quinn Cyrankiewicz (Guitar), Sandy MacKinnon (Bass) and Calen Stuckel (Drums) have been together since 2013 and have been the original members of the band. And with 7 years experience under their belt, they played a professional and tight rock performance. With songs centered around garage guitar riffs by Cyrankiewicz, Carriere’s edgy and gruff vocals and rhythms by MacKinnon and Stuckel, what you get is a mix between 90’s grunge and modern arena rock with a dash of classic rock. Something familiar, yet something a bit new.
Opening with “Freedom”, the group played their second single “First Time” before Carriere took a breather to engage with the Montreal Crowd. And such is how the night went as their set continued throughout the evening. They played all their songs from TUSK II, closing with their latest single “Aftermath”, mixing in a cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom” and Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” along the way – Clearly indicative of the musical influences that made the ROYAL TUSK sound. And given the modest crowd in attendance, the band put in a full effort and spent time mingling with the crowd afterwards.
Opening for ROYAL TUSK was BRKN LOVE, another quartet from Toronto who have also toured in the USA last year with POP Evil and ROYAL TUSK. Fresh on the release a few weeks ago of their self-titled debut album, the band performed a similar sounding set to ROYAL TUSK. Led by lead singer and founder Justin Benlolo, he is young and has worked the L.A. and New York circuits. With scheduled appearances in several music festivals this summer of 2020, BRKN LOVE will be a name you may hear about in the near future.
Opening the evening was SIGHTS AND SOUNDS, also from Toronto. They played a more punk sound, similar to Social Distortion.

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