Thursday, June 10th, 2004: Club 279 (Hard Rock Café)
The Daybreak found themselves faced with conflicting emotions when they stepped onto the stage of Club 279 to close out the NXNE Showcase presented by 102.1 The Edge. On the one hand, the boys were extremely excited at the chance to headline such a prestigious show as part of the highly regarded festival; on the other hand, the show was Rob’s final performance with the band before his departure for England. On this night, the band used their emotions to put together a spectacular send-off for The Grinch.
The band performed a set filled with Daybreak classics – crowd favourites and crowd pleasers – that opened with “Miss California”. The exceptional sound system of the club helped to bring out the epic, arena-rock qualities of the song, and the crowd was clearly excited at what they were certain to enjoy on this night. The band then ratcheted the excitement up to an even greater level with the always popular “Shuffle” (just mixed and ready for download!) which segued into the slower groove of Edge radio favourite “Twice As High As The Sun”. The relentless dynamic shifts and edgier mood of “Staircase” prefaced the band’s strongest pop-rock anthem in “Hindsight”, the penultimate song of the set. The band closed off the night, appropriately, with an unrepentant and even violent version of “Don’t Be Long” which saw Shoe on the floor for his solo, and drums thrown from stands as the song ended. The crowd was left overwhelmed by the energy and conviction of the performance, yet with a sense of melancholia at the fact that this familiar incarnation of The Daybreak might never take to a Toronto stage again. The band has plans for a European Tour in October of this year, which would see them reunite with Rob for those shows - all is not bleak for the Big Four.
Thanks to the other bands for great sets, to the crew for their help with gear and to the soundmen for the great audio (it was particularly fun to have a live video feed of our performance playing at the Hard Rock Café downstairs), to Brett and Alicyn at the club for co-ordinating everything, to everyone involved with the festival, to Dana for her publicity work, to our friends at The Edge (especially Barry Taylor, Mike Rice and Bookie) and especially to our great fans who showed up to cheer us on, irrespective of the time.
Finally and most importantly, the remaining members of The Daybreak would like to thank Rob for all of his hard work and energy in helping to drive this band over the last two and a half years. Many of the successes we have enjoyed over our time thus far have been due, in large part, to his efforts. Rob has been a great friend to all of us and someone whose passion for music is unquestionable. We will very much miss his one-of-a-kind personality and sense of humour at practise, at shows (before, during and after), in the studio, and in the countless other band ventures we attempt or attempted (postering, interviews, etc.) Although we will certainly miss him, we very sincerely wish him the best of luck in England and hope that he finds everything he desires “across the pond”.
Thank you for all the great memories, Rob. HHF (Gunslingin’).