Fans were amped up to see longtime emo rockers Sunny Day Real Estate make a return to Toronto at Danforth Music Hall on a Wednesday night. The band recently reunited last year and has been playing many shows since. So the crowd was ready to relive some of the band’s music that was a staple of the Midwest emo rock scene in the early 1990s.
Due to border issues, Appleseed Cast could not make it to the show, so local post-punk artist Chastity filled their spot as the opener. This is my third time seeing the singer and his band; they didn’t disappoint. They performed with exciting energy from start to finish which got some of the audience banging their heads. Chastity himself couldn’t believe the opportunity to perform in front of Sunny Day Real Estate, and I think the audience and I did agreed they did the band proud.
2.) Manning Hill
3.) Sun Poisoning
After a brief intermission, the lights dimmed black to signal the arrival of Sunny Day Real Estate. The five members arrived in an excited crowd before the start of the first song on the set, “Pillars.” The song featured the classic sounds of emo rock with slow guitar riffs combined with introspective and personal lyrics. So it was expected that the crowd would not be rowdy or moving much for most of the show. But many were soaked into the moment and feeling into the song. They played “Song About An Angel,” where the crowd and I learned it was the first song written for their debut album, Diary released in 1994. It was a joy to see the two women in front of me singing to all the lyrics and moving side to side to the song, which showed their love and appreciation for the band.
Sunny Day Real Estate continued to play more of their hits while lead singer Jeremy Enigk cheered to the fan shouting from the audience while he drinks his water. One of the highlights of the night was most of the audience shouting the chorus of “Seven,” the eleventh song of the set. After playing “J’Nuh,” the band thanked the crowd before going backstage to rest before the encore. They returned to the stage to perform four more songs, which included their most notable song, “In Circles.” The crowd shouted loudly to the chorus while a small mosh pit and crowd surfing occurred in the middle of the venue. Each band member left the stage one by one during the ending of “Days Were Golden” as they thanked the crowd for coming to the show. Ultimately, it was a nostalgic night as everyone relived Sunny Day Real Estate’s music one more time.
Jeremy Enigk – Lead singer, rhythm guitars
William Goldsmith – Drummer
Dan Hoerner – Lead guitars
Greg Suran – Rhythm guitars
Chris Jordan – Bass
4. Song About an Angel
5. Every Shining Time You Arrive
6. Guitar and Video Games
7. Red Elephant
8. Roses in Water
9. Killed by an Angel
10. The Ocean
13. The Rising Tide
14. Faces in Disguise
15. In Circles
16. Days Were Golden
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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.