The Horseshoe Tavern's 70th Birthday Celebration


Ford Pier

Fri, May 26, 2017

Doors: 9:00 pm

The Horseshoe Tavern

Toronto, ON


Tickets at the Door

This event is 19 and over

For 36 years since their debut in 1980 as teenagers playing under LLCBO exemption in Toronto punk clubs, Rheostatics have occupied a unique place in the Canadian music landscape, being the first among their generation-- a generation dominated by American and British cultural colonialism-- to sing about their country; its places; people; vision; and soul. Sublime, destructive, and iconic,
they never settled on just one way of being a band, yet this eclecticism resulted in one of the most longstanding careers in alternative pop history.
With eleven albums released since 1987, including “Melville” and “Whale Music,” two titles that have insistently appeared on Best Canadian Albums of All Time lists for decades, the Rheostatics’ catalogue articulates the artistic ecstasies and political ironies of a country, partly defined by their Genie-award winning soundtrack work on the Paul Quarrington film "Whale Music," and partly defined by their annual memorial shows to raise money for Street Soccer Canada in the name of Stompin Tom Connors.
In 1996, they toured the country opening for the Tragically Hip-- this resulted in guitarist Dave Bidini's ground-breaking and best-selling work of non-fiction, "On A Cold Road: Tales of Adventure in Canadian Rock"-- and in 2007 they crossed Canada with the One Yellow Rabbit Performance Company providing music to their erotic hockey theatrical event. And last year they celebrated the 20th anniversary of their ground-breaking instrumental album, "Music Inspired by the Group of Seven" by performing four sold-out shows in the transformative setting of the Art Gallery of Ontario, further plundering the Canadian mythos to become themselves a kind of bedrock allegory.
The Rheostatics are Dave Bidini, Don Kerr, Martin Tielli and Tim Vesely. They are currently joined by Kevin Hearn on keyboard and Hugh Marsh on violin and, on April 29, 2016, they will celebrate a return to a sold-out Massey Hall.
Ford Pier
Ford Pier
Ford: v.t. to cross by wading (Webster)

Pier: n. a disappointed bridge (Joyce)

Having cut his teeth playing a variety of intruments in a host of bands in a panoply of styles throughout his youth, Ford Pier set his hand in earnest to writing and performing his own songs in the mid-1990's. His stated objective was to effectively fuse Black Flag and Richard Wagner in a pop song, but kept on thwarting his own design with a melodicism he was powerless to escape, and a deft lyricism which drew attention to itself. In a good way.

His '95 debut release on Wrong Records, Meconium, was a 14-song mosaic of raging post-punk, true-blue country, folk balladry, and avant-garde soul of which The Vancouver Sun's Katherine Monk was moved to write, "If one indie release could speak for the West Coast, this is the one."

Former bandmate Joey Shithead of D.O.A. released the sophomore offering, 12-Step Plan, 11-Step Pier, in 1999 on his Sudden Death label. The record's denser, almost symphonic character was a nod to the amount of chamber music Pier had been composing, and the neo-classical-inflected orchestrations he had been doing for Vancouver songwriter Veda Hille, with whom he toured Europe and North America extensively.
Venue Information:
The Horseshoe Tavern
370 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON, M5V 2A2