Review: State Of Worth & Farenheit @ Sneaky Dee's

I live for nights like this. Surrounded by a bunch of fanatics singing along to every word, hugging each other, pushing around in a non-threatening moshpit, the sense of community pulses with every bass reverberation. People who have never heard Farenheit before move closer to the stage curiously, bobbing their heads and smiling, eager to purchase the CD after the show. Even if you didn't know all the words, the good news is that you could at least understand them. A guy I've never met before hands me a shot in the middle of the set, gives me a "cheers" and disappears. How completely sneaky of him!


I recognized a lot of the Farenheit "regulars" who realize how lucky we are to get Farenheit in our city on a regular basis. These regulars pride themselves on being in-the-know. "You've probably never heard this next song," the stranger next to me says rather furtively. "It's their new one and it is amazingly heavy! You'll love it." Somehow every new song is better than the last and I realize I haven't been this excited about a band since that first sepulchral roar at Warped Tour 96 when The Deftones got on stage. Much like The Deftones, Farenheit has stumbled upon the perfect blend of heavy, driving guitar rhythms and drums combined with attractive melodies you find you simply can't live without. After a memorable CD release at the Big Sexy in Oshawa with guest appearances from Dave (Sum 41) and Chico (Not By Choice), the band has landed an opening for Theory of a Dead Man later this month as well.


Earlier in the night, State of Worth played an energetic set. Though it's not my preferred genre, it's seriously hard NOT to like them. "I think the most important thing is just to be friendly to people and make lasting contacts," lead singer Jen told me one time. "If people like YOU as a person, they're more likely to want to continually support you." Truer words were never said. Armed with a new drummer brimming with enthusiasm, their set was more rocking than ever. Try to imagine a vastly improved Bikini Kill vocal formula combined with quick, punky speed that will inadvertantly get your toe tapping and your head in motion. One thing you will always get at a State of Worth show is at least one silly sex joke and lyrics that touch upon pertinent issues from consumerism to the objectification of women, power struggles and abuse. They always bring a decent crowd of loyal fans who cheer with enthusiastic fervor and they will always thank you personally for coming out.

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There was something very honest and rocknroll about Tacoma Redd. While I found their vocals to be slightly more appealing on the cd rather than live, their set was a decent listen. Their drummer was particularly impressive. How can you NOT rock out to periods of machine gun double-bass-pedal madness? He pounded on the drums with an intensity that commanded your attention. You'd probably dig em if you're receptive to the idea of a classic rock band like ACDC or Van Halen fused with radio-friendly modern rock. I can only hope they crank out more hits like "Letting Go".

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The young Kessel Run from Whitby kicked off the night with an outbreak of post-hardcore remniscent of bands like Senses Fail and My Chemical Romance. I'm an especially tough critic of this genre, however, because I think there's way too many bands that think they've figured out the formula... but that's just it... it's a formula, lacking all originality and intrigue. Post hardcore, you bore me. Yet every once in a while a band emerges that just feels better than everyone else. Sadly, Kessel Run is not one of those bands yet... but they're not an awful imitation either. If I were to make some minor adjustments, I'd make the singer/screamer just a screamer and I'd make the bassist/backup vocalist just a bass player, for starters. Another guitar player could also fill out their super distorted rhythms. Chances are if you're still in highschool, you will probably love this band any ways.

Sad you missed out? Well don't be. You can catch Farernheit & State of Worth @ Clinton's January 20th!!!

About The Venue - Sneaky Dees:


The Sound: the sound is ultra-loud (note: bring ear plugs) but has been calibrated carefully to produce a very complimentary sound. Every few minutes, the sound check guy is out of his booth, hands on his hips, analyzing the quality of his work from various spots around the room. He doesn't fit the profile of your average Toronto sound technician who's usually a drunk old dude with long hair and a lackadaisical ambiance.

The People: The clientele here is more mature than somewhere like The Kathedral but they're by no means old. 20somethings will feel at home here. While the crowd generally changes with every show, pretention and massive immaturity evade this place, which makes for an enjoyable evening. Out-of-towners always give Sneaky Dees a rave review and as a local, I've never had a bad time here.

The Atmosphere: There's a rather large downstairs seating arrangement where you can break out the pitchers, grab a bite to eat and shout to your friends before moving upstairs for the show. While the room isn't very big, it's the ideal size for a local show and fills up to a comfortable level.

The Drinks: $3.50 domestic isn't so bad. It's been argued Sneaky Dee's has top-notch nachos as well!

Venue Rating:4/5
1- I'd rather die than go to this pit of filth.
2- If you get me drunk enough I'd like it
3- A decent night out but my headphones have better sound
4- Definitely rockin with killer sound
5- My lifeblood. Toronto's finest.


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