Photo Essay: The Rebel Reviewer Checks Out Danko Jones

Danko Jones

Danko Jones
Mod Club
Toronto, Ontario
May 11, 2010

For the past few years I’ve really started to dig Toronto band Danko Jones. A heavy, simple, 3 piece unit with angry vocals and tight driving music, great for rocking out. When I hear Danko’s music, I just wanna jam. This is the music I like to play.

I’d missed Mr. Jones and his wingmen numerous times, not even knowing when he was around. Last time I heard, he was opening up for Guns n Roses and to be quite honest you’d have to slam me in the head with a frying pan to get me to actually BUY a ticket to see Axl Rose, the biggest rock asshole of all time; so I couldn’t justify seeing Danko open for him.

This being Danko’s return to headline in Toronto I figured it would be a great show maybe with a few surprises in store, but it was pretty straight up. The Mod Club is a GREAT venue for shows with their stellar lighting and sound capabilities. The bar has a touch of class, just enough to make it make it shine but not uncomfortably so. I really didn’t need buddy in the bathroom getting pissed off at me for not tipping him though. All I had was a $20 and all he did was take a break from his cell phone long enough to rip off a piece of hand towel. Sorry but I don’t need someone to wipe my ass for me.

Danko played most of my faves. He pulled out a bunch of old shit that he hadn’t played in a long time and nailed us with a few new ones. Touring in support of the latest album “Below the Belt”, he surprisingly only played 3 songs from the album, the two openers and “Full of Regret” that’s been spinning in constant rotation on the radio. First time I heard it, 3 notes into the song I thought man, that sounds like Danko… sure enough.. right in the nuts with a fistful of Danko. And it’s a GREAT tune. I’m loving the new album.

“I Think Bad Thoughts” has a couple references tucked away there namely the lyrics from Metallica’s “Damage Inc” being “never happy endings on these dark sets” and of course the blatant reference to being one of Kiss’ “Knights In Satan’s Service” the old religious interpretation of what Kiss “really” meant.

“Active Volcanoes” sounds so much like a tune straight off Kiss’ “Dressed To Kill” album, you could slip it in between “Anything For My Baby” and “Love Her All I Can”, and most people wouldn’t even notice. So it’s clear to me that musically Danko and I are pretty well the same creature so naturally I’m loving everything he does.

Along with the 3 new ones he pulled out “Cadillac”, “Baby Hates Me”, “Dance”, “Lovercall”, “First Date” and a bunch of other killer tunes I’ve been waiting so long to see live. Needless to say I was in my happy place throughout most of the night.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show, the banter, the opening acts were great and the beer went down nice, but I could see that some of his yappage definitely offended some in the room. Danko’s the kinda guy who shoots from the hip. He may not necessarily mean to offend you but if he does I’m sure he doesn’t really care. For instance, at one point he said “if everybody in this room tells 5 friends, we’ll be in Massey Hall (a much larger venue) next time”.

Well I didn’t see the problem with that, but ask a bar owner what they think of that kind of comment. I don’t know if the owner of the Mod Club was reacting at all but the girl I went to the show with said if he’d made that comment in HER bar, and she has ran a few bars, Danko would have gotten paid half his price and told to fuck off. I guess setting your sights higher to a bigger and better venue can be misconstrued as a diss to the bar you’re standing in. I wouldn’t have taken it as that personally, but that’s the difference between guys n girls. We say shit straight up and it’s exactly what we mean. Chicks dig deeper for “what we REALLY meant” and come back with some weird n wicked shit! No no darlin, that’s not what I SAID.

Anyway, with Danko practically living in Europe these days, he’s proving to the rest of the world that there are some BAD ASS Canucks out there and I thank him for it. Everyone who thinks we’re so damn polite and sit back and take everything handed to us as long as we have a beer and a hockey game, can go fuck themselves. They haven’t met the OTHER Canadians. The guys who don’t give a shit about hockey unless it’s a Stanley Cup playoff game with a Canadian team involved, or a World Cup/Olympic level of game and even then, we’re only REALLY watching hoping for a good ole fashioned fight!

There’s plenty of us Canucks who are just as pissed off and miserable as the rest of the damn planet and it seems to me Danko is one of those guys. I’m just wondering why, when he seems to be living the dream quite successfully… albeit in Europe.