LIVE @ THE PHOENIX
By: Joanna Glezakos
On Thursday May 12th at the Phoenix Concert Theatre, The Artist Life opened up the Toronto show of Face to Face’s tour. I arrived at the venue approximately 20 minutes before doors, took the time to collect my thoughts and made sure my camera was loaded with two batteries and a card. Watching the line grow I noticed the crowd was very diverse, anywhere from teenage girls to fifty something’s wearing leather jackets. The Phoenix is probably one of my favourite venues for lighting and overall ambience and I was excited to shoot the show. Doors opened at 8 and as the crowed scurried in, those who could, made their way to the bar. As I drank my Canadian, I heard the bar tender yell “Dean!” and gave the guitarist a warm homecoming you could tell the band was excited to play in their hometown, the show was full of the band’s friends a long with many fans. This was their second last day on this tour and probably one of their most important. Originally from Toronto, The Artist Life is: Ian Blackwood – Vocals/Guitar, Dean Richards – Guitar / Vocals, Jake Parsonson – Drums and Justin Zoltek – Bass. They have been touring over the past two months and recently released their major label debut (it is their third record as a band), Impossible just last month. The new record has shown definite growth for the band compared to their 2008 release “Let’s Start a Riot”. The Artist Life put on a great show, lots of energy from the band and they were a couple of the friendliest guys I’ve ever met! Just before they went on Dean turned to me and says “Make us look good!” They made it a challenge jumping around the stage but I did some running around for myself and I hope they like ‘em!
The songs on the album are even better live and they put on a definite must-see show and not to mention their songs are pretty good. I commend the band for their energy but I’m not as proud of my concert go-er counterparts; a few fans clung to the front of the stage as others staggered nearby and after starting off with a fairly empty pit, a few songs into their set, the pit finally filled fans and new listeners. There wasn’t enough energy from the crowd as I would’ve like to have seen but the night was still young and the main act was sure to get a rise out of them, which they most certainly did. They’re young and enthusiastic, inspiring for any up and coming artists as each member has had plenty experience of their own in different bands. They’ve got talent and energy and what really intrigues me is that these guys are all about getting their music out there and getting feedback. Living was available online for free download, and their latest album has songs for download off their website and they constantly keep themselves in touch with fans asking if they’ve heard/like the album frequently over twitter. The Artist Life is taking a little break from the road and will be back next month for shows in Brantford, Cornwall, and Montreal, playing with Sublime, Tokyo Police Club, Street Pharmacy, The Reason, Hollerado, in Brantford then These Kids Wear Crowns, Mean Tangerine, & Chasing Amee in Cornwall and Montreal. If you’re in the area and looking for a great show or even just want to hang out with the guys at the bar, check them out! You can download a free track off their website at www.theArtistLife.com, or buy the album on iTunes! If you haven’t heard of The Artist Life I most definitely urge you to check them out, Toronto’s Major Rock station 102.1 The Edge has mentioned the band several times as newest acts to look out for and now they are FRIDAETV approved, the rumors are true.