Nothing beats a 1000mods late summer show on a beautiful Saturday night at the legendary Lee’s Palace in Toronto. It’s probably been home to most of my most memorable shows in the last 35 years.
Lee’s Palace, Toronto – 9 September 2023
Words: Sunil Singh
Photography: Melanie Webster
So many pillars of the stoner rock scene have come through this perfectly built venue for gritty music–great sightlines with a perfectly acceptable ‘dive feel’. And, when bands like Monster Magnet, Fu Manchu, Hellacopters, Nebula, Electric Wizard, Elder, and Ruby The Hatchet have come through, only greatness of performances has been the result.
While the bar got set high with the two earlier stellar performances–expectedly so, by the way–everyone in the crowd knew that 1000mods were going to lay waste to Lee’s Palace with their industrious delivery of riffs that were flowing freely between not only the familiar grooves of Kyuss and Fu Manchu, but also some strong nods to ’90s Soundgarden and Quicksand.
So, sure enough, when they took the stage, they opened with a cracker of an opener, Pearl from 2020’s Youth Of Dissent album, which was followed by Warped from the same album. The songs surfed more of the already alluded-to ’90s sounds, even throwing in some Nirvana and Green Day.
But, because 1000mods have been around forever, mining mostly from the stoner rock bands that came around at the same time as that whole “grunge explosion”, the resulting fusion makes this Greek band, hailing from the town Chiliomodi (“chilia” means 1000 in Greek), sound wholly unique and spirited in their sonic delivery.
When they dipped into the album Prolonged Exposure To… with the almost punkish Electric Curve, the band let the Toronto crowd know in no uncertain terms and volume that this show was going to accelerate into one glorious rock ‘n’ roll mess. Yes, the show was loud, and for one of the rare times in the last decade or so, my ears were ringing for a few days–yes!
By the time they hit Mirrors, which has the perfect balance of Low Orbit’s sludgy tempo and Freedom Hawks’s bouncy grooves, all cylinders were firing from this dedicated quartet of musicians.
The infectious, mosh-pit-inducing Vidage was the band’s penultimate song–which easily could have been the last song. But when you have Super Van Vacation in your stoner rock arsenal, you don’t mess around.
You play that song last and as loud as you possibly can. 1000mods obliged, with visible sweat pouring off of each member to drive home the ridiculous energy and work ethic these Greek lads bring every night to their shows.
This was my first time seeing them. And, in no way in hell will this be my last time.