Show Review: Sandman Viper Command.

We don't care what you think of the band's name, we think it is one of the best ever.   "Sandman Viper Command" evokes all kinds of thoughts of a loud, swift and precise assault on something.  In this instance, it would be upon your musical senses.

The Burlington, ON quartet started early as the scheduled opening band never showed up.  Ripping flawlessly through the first few tracks from their 2009 release Everybody See This, guitar and vox man Rob Janson announced that "We're all sick, don't come and talk to us after the show."

For some bands and fans this might mean an anemic performance followed by much sympathy from the crowd.  This never happened as SVC got faster, better and seemed to absorb the crowd's energy into their performance. They played every tune from Everybody See This and two new compositions from their upcoming 7-inch, Rough Love. The spirit never waned; Aaron Harvey's Rickenbacker bass thumped nimbly along with Matt Meyer's animated drumming while axe-master Dan Reardon flat-out rocked. If this is how SVC plays when they're under the weather, we look forward to a show when they're healthy.

Upon completion of their set, the near capacity Phog crowd stood up and demanded more.

SVC: "That's all the songs we have.  We've played them all."
CROWD:  "Play MORE, play covers..."
SVC: "Covers?  We'll be back in ten minutes."
CROWD: *cheers wildly...*

Just before returning to the stage after a short break, Rob said, "Man, this might be the longest set we have ever played."  Our reply: "Play on!"  And they did, in the same form and attitude as they began the evening.  These guys have real insight as to what it takes to be a touring band.  Their age might fool you; their level of commitment will impress you.

Cover songs can be a handful for some bands.  Here we had some amusing and spot on renditions of songs by Thin Lizzy, Elvis Costello, Joel Plaskett, the Beatles, Shotgun Jimmie and the Rolling Stones.  

Photos: Russ Gordon