Show review: Young Rival

So there we were: at Boogie Fever in Ferndale for a 50th birthday party on a Friday night, watching Cindy Lauper and Gap Band videos and 50-something women dancing under the disco lights while all the men stared from the bar. N2D turned to S2W and said "You know, we can still make the Young Rival show at Phog Lounge." A half hour later we were in Windsor, watching a 20-something opening band-- Elk (St. Catherine's/Welland)-- and a 20-something audience clearly geeked for a 50s-infused alt pop/rock band: Young Rival (Hamilton).

This was the third time we've seen Young Rival-- Aron D'alesio (guitar and lead vocals), John Smith (bass, vocals) and Noah Fralick (drums, vocals)-- and their due is overdue. We first saw them last August when they closed out Phog Phest 2. We'd hauled all the way from a race that day at Michigan International Speedway and it was more than worth the trip to hear them. A month later, we were back at Phog for the Pack a.d./Young Rival show.

The April 15th show marked almost to the day the release of Young Rival's self-titled first full-length album last year. Since then singles from both the album and their previous EP, featuring their retro sound and reverb vocals, have been in regular rotation on CBC Radio 3. Judging from the near-Beatlesque fervor of some of the ladies in the audience, Young Rival has been on regular rotation on their iPods. Authentic? You bet.

Photos: Russ Gordon