July 6, 2019
You know those bands, that when you hear them live, shock you with how many great songs you forgot about? That’s Streetheart. They delivered an astoundingly tight, hard-rocking set to a packed room of mostly 50 something fans who more than got their money’s worth.
The band opened the show with a video vignette as a tribute to original frontman, the late great Kenny Shields. Playing their first album Meanwhile Back In Paris in its entirety, brought original founding bassist Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve to the front of the stage to lay down the low-end jerky hook to first song Action. David Langguth delivered powerful controlled rock drumming with plenty of monster fills for good measure.
Jeff Neill (guitar & member since 1981) and original keyboardist Daryl Gutheil are master musicians playing and singing with technical excellence and rock n roll flair. But it was lead singer Paul McNair (as lead singers are wont to do) who stood out most. As a replacement for Shields, (who passed away in 2017) many in the crowd knew McNair had big shoes to fill. Those shoes fit like a glove. He had a solid grip on the audience from note one. McNair’s charm and charisma, not to mention the soaring range and power of his vocal delivery, stunned the crowd. McNair made a point to honour Shields in both words and delivery. A class act top to bottom.
The sound production was close to the best I have ever heard. Loud but not too loud. Grinding but clear as a bell. As Streetheart muscled through their set, they treated the fans to the hits: Hollywood, What Kind of Love is This? Tin Soldier, Under My Thumb, Miss Plaza Suite, Here Comes the Night and many more, driving everyone to their feet to dance and sing along. The room was hot, the energy electric, the band was killer tight and the love was mutual.
Do your musical patriotic duty and go see this great Canadian band when they roll through your town.
Keith A. McTaggart