The first Nerd Noise Night was held last summer as an unofficial afterparty for FanExpo at the Horseshoe Tavern and it was hugely successful. So it’s no surprise that the concept returned again this year. Featuring all of the acts from last year’s event as well as a few more, the party was spread over two nights. I was only able to attend the second night which featured four performers from last year (Coins, Nerds With Guitars, More Or Les, The Cybertronic Spree) as well as one newcomer (Johnny Headband).
It’s become more and more commonplace to see acts tied to “nerd” activity such as video game cover bands (Powerglove) or classic movie tribute bands (Balboa). This night alone saw songs about Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica, raps about Doctor Who and a band dressed as the cast of the 1986 Transformers movie.
Opener Coins delivered an electronica set while in full robot attire to get the crowd warmed up. Acoustic duo Nerds With Guitars followed with cleverly written songs referencing heroism, villainy and general geekdom. More Or Les (with Peter Project) let his geek flag fly with rapid-fire raps about everyone’s favourite time-travelling doctor. Johnny Headband had the unfortunate task of following More or Les’s excellent set with some laid back pop music that failed to keep this reviewer’s attention.
The headliner was once again The Cybertronic Spree featuring event organizer Shaun Hatton on drums in costume as the evil Decepticon Rumble. The band played faithful renditions of the soundtrack with covers of Stan Bush (The Touch), Lion (Transformers Theme), Kick-Axe/Spectre General (Hunger), Vince DiCola (Unicron Theme) and Weird Al Jankovic (Dare To Be Stupid). With a year of performing under their belt, the band was vastly improved over their debut at last year’s event. Tribute bands such as this are always going to be a niche thing but it’s nice to see a band pay homage with such enthusiasm.
If you have fond memories of the 1986 Transformers movie, The Cybertronic Spree is a must-see act. Fortunately they’re based in Toronto, so there should be plenty of other opportunities to check them out.