by Risa Tapanes
“Don’t just look at us and smile. Move, motherfucker!” exclaimed Brett Emmons, lead vocalist of Ontario rock group The Glorious Sons. The sold-out Sinclair lit up, ready for a night of anthemic sing-alongs. Fans raised foam-fingers in the shape of an ‘L’ – a sign that fans were not concerned with what anyone else thought of them. They were here to have an authentically good time. Men and women of all ages cheered as the band opened with “The Union.”
The Glorious Sons speculated about the lives of past rockers in their scene in the next song, “The Ongoing Speculation Into the Death Of Rock and Roll.” Poking fun at “that trust fund kid with Lennon glasses [who] thinks that he’s the chosen one,” Emmons proved this band is the real deal. There’s no phoniness in the six piece, featuring two ripping guitars, a bassist, a drummer and a keyboardist.
On this tour, the band was promoting their September release A War On Everything. Though they’ve been working since 2011, the band gained momentum this year, finding success with breakout hit “S.O.S. (Sawed Off Shotgun)” and touring with the likes of Greta Van Fleet and The Struts. Their persistence has certainly paid off and gained them a dedicated fanbase.
Not every song can be played in a single night, especially with an extensive discography like The Glorious Sons’. Emmons acknowledged, “we got 43 songs to choose from – let’s make this night different from the last.” The band has been consistently changing their setlist, surprising fans with deep-cuts and songs from the new album.
Halfway through the set, Emmons took a moment to reflect on the band’s journey. “Two years ago, there were five people here,” referencing their past shows at The Middle East and Brighton Music Hall. “Tonight, we sold out a room of 500 people. And let me stress this, I’m not that f*cking thankful…but I’m thankful for you.” Chuckling, he added, “I told my baby I’m going out to make them big bucks!”
Before the band exited the stage, they performed their newest single “Panic Attack,” the well-loved “S.O.S. (Sawed Off Shotgun)” and the piano-driven “Ruby.” Emmons asked the crowd, “Do you wanna go home?” Fans responded with a resounding “No!”
Returning for an encore, guitarist Chris Koster took over the keyboard to join Emmons in an unreleased soulful ballad, “La Cosa Nostra.” Tears were shed, hands were held and bodies swayed to the touching tune of distant, struggling love.
The night closed with a track Emmons called “one of [his] favorite songs [he’s] ever written,” – “A Funny Thing Happened,” off of 2019’s A War On Everything. “White Noise,’ a Glorious Sons’ staple, closed the show.
The performance and the great reception from fans proved one thing — The Glorious Sons are a force to be reckoned with.