In person Bry Webb is one of the quietest, low-key dudes you’re likely to meet. His recent solo albums reinforce this introspective side with down-tempo acoustic jams.
Then there is the Bry Webb who fronts the Constantines – one of Canada’s most revered indie bands over the past 15 years. The history of the Constantines is that of legend at this point. A working class band with a working class sound from Guelph Ontario that brought an energy to their live shows that was seemingly unmatched by anyone else in the Toronto scene. Over time, incredible show after show, the legend was cemented. The Cons were the best. The Cons are one of those bands who have the respect and admiration of their peers like no other. Ask any Toronto indie band about The Constantines and the praise is unanimous. The Cons were the band everyone rooted for. They were underdogs, under appreciated, and a win for The Cons was a win for the scene.
Two years into their comeback after a four year hiatus, the Cons finally played Massey Hall on May 27th 2015 as part of the much-needed Live at Massey Hall series which puts indie artists on Canada’s best stage and offers tickets at great prices.
The Cons did not disappoint the packed house opening with the blistering “Draw Us Lines” off 2005’s Tournament of Hearts. They barreled through their set with a passion and fierceness that makes their four year break totally understandable. It seems impossible that a band could bring that much energy for 15 years straight. Their form was impressive with every band member pulling their weight, including drummer Doug MacGregor pounding out the beat with power and accuracy that borderlines on super-human. Bry Webb proved yet again that he is one of indie rock’s best frontmen with his larger-than-life stage presence and unbridled energy.
In some ways, The Cons show was both the pinnacle and a microcosm of the Live at Massey series. The crowd was littered with members of the local music scene. Bands, managers, publicists alike were gathered for a momentous show at the Hall. It felt like one part coming home party and one part validation ceremony – as Toronto’s best music venue finally put one of Toronto’s best live bands on their stage.
Bry Webb closed off the evening with a simple yet fitting acknowledgment to the crowd. “We are The Constantines and we just played Massey”, he said. That’s an understatement, even for Bry Webb.