It was a special Thursday night at HISTORY in Toronto with emo rock band Moneen coming to town for the first stop in their Canadian tour. For those who don’t know Moneen, they were one of the notable Canadian emo rock acts in the mid-2000s with albums such as Are We Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now? released twenty years ago. The band is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the album with a tour around Canada, with Toronto being the first stop.
Moneen announced a surprise opener prior to the show in Toronto. It turned out it was Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional who came onstage first. Chris has been longtime friends with the members of Moneen, so it was an easy choice for Chris to come to the show and play a solo acoustic set. It was a great surprise for the audience as they got to hear Chris’s powerful vocals as he effortlessly played acoustic versions of some of the band’s classics and a Cory Branan cover.
1. The Swiss Army Romance
3. Tall Green Grass (Cory Branan cover)
4. Screaming Infidelities
Post-hardcore band Sparta rocked the stage as the second opener of the night. The rock duo of Jim Ward and Matt Miller have been on tour this year to celebrate a milestone; it has been twenty years since their debut album Wiretap Scars was released. The audience was treated to a powerful performance featuring Jim’s extraordinary vocals and Matt moving around the stage with energy as they performed the album from start to finish.
Jim Ward – Lead vocalist, guitars
Matt Miller – Bass, backing vocals
Neil Hennessy – Drummer (touring member)
1. Cut Your Ribbon
5. Sans Cosm
6. Light Burns Clear
8. Red Alibi
9. Rx Coup
10. Glasshouse Tarot
11. Echodyne Harmonic
12. Assemble the Empire
After a few minutes of setup, the lights go dark and the audience gets excited and pumped for Moneen to arrive on stage. The members were treated with a warm embrace and cheers as they performed the title track, “Are We Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now?” It was rocking from the start as Kenny Bridges ran around the stage with a few jumps while the other members powered through their instruments. The audience is seen hollering the lyrics while a few started crowd surfing in the middle.
A few songs later, Kenny Bridges thanked the crowd for coming to a show to celebrate the album while thanking “Hippy.” That would be Moneen’s guitarist Chris Hughes, who was met with cheers of “Hippy” from the crowd. The band continued to play through the album, which included some slower tunes like “I Have Never Done Anything For Anyone That Was Not For Me As Well.” The band was well aware of the long song titles; they honestly don’t know why they are so long! The band continued to the last song, fittingly titled “The Last Song I Will Ever Want to Sing.” The band put all their energy into the song before they left the stage as if that would be the last song of the night. They came back onstage with the audience roaring in excitement for more songs.
Moneen saved the best moments of the night for the last, starting with a cover of Dashboard Confessional’s “Hands Down” with Chris Carrabba. They end the night with their most notable song, “The Passing of America.” Kenny went off stage and stood on top of the crowd to perform with the crowd. It was a moment of unity and happiness from everyone as he returned to finish the song while a circle pit and crowd surfing commenced. Ultimately, it was a night of celebration for Moneen’s rich history of their discography. The audience can only hope the band plays a few more shows in the near future!
Kenny Bridges – Lead vocalist, guitars
Chris “Hippy” Hughes – Guitars, vocals
Erik Hughes – Bass, vocals
Peter Krpan – Drummer
1. Are We Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now?
2. Start Angry…End Mad
3. To Say Something That Means Nothing To Anyone At All
4. With This Song I Will Destroy Myself
5. Closing My Eyes Won’t Help Me Leave
6. I Have Never Done Anything For Anyone That Was Not For Me As Well
7. How To Live With The Thought That Sometimes Life Ends
8. Life’s Just Too Short Little Ndugu
9. Thoughts Weigh Heavy…Don’t Get Drowned In The Weight Of It All
10. The Last Song I Will Ever Want To Sing
11. Don’t Ever Tell Locke What He Can’t Do
12. Tonight, I’m Gone…
13. Hands Down (Dashboard Confessional cover with Chris Carrabba)
14. The Passing of America
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Andrew Wu is a music photographer based in Toronto, Canada. His work focuses on capturing and documenting special moments of performers during concerts and various events. His photos have been featured such as music publications in Spill Magazine, Imprint Entertainment, and Patchchord News. In 2020, he completed his BFA in photography at OCAD University.
Andrew is a massive fan of music, as he enjoys a variety of genres such as pop, alternative, rock, hardcore, and metal.