Toronto band The Real recently played a show at Tranzac as part of Montreal band Alligator Baby’s album launch tour. Lead singer Justin Idems commented that the name The Real was chosen because if they were going to get up and play, they wanted to keep it real, to be the real deal and deliver. And deliver they do! The five piece band features guitar, keyboards, bass and drums; a strong support system for Justin’s killer vocals. Quiet and calm in “real life,” Justin’s whole persona shifts onstage and he becomes an animated character who moves around the stage and belts out intense and powerful vocal melodies.
The whole band is made up of excellent musicians. Bass player CK Armstrong particularly stood out, commanding a seven string bass and making it look easy (it’s not). The keyboards add a nice dimension to the sound, at times adding a synth layer that is also prevalent on their album Another First Step. The Real sound a little like Incubus in terms of the instrumentation and the way Justin sings. In addition to their repertoire of original tunes, they played some awesome covers including a polished version of “Superstition” and “All Along the Watchtower.” It was groovy.
The band is tight. The songs are interesting and powerful. Their stage presence rocked. The Real play regularly in the Toronto area so check them out if you can! the-real.ca
Songs off Another First Step are loaded on their You Tube channel. Check out “Caught Up”