It was a full house on a Tuesday for former Attack in Black members Spencer Burton a.k.a. Grey Kingdom and Daniel Romano — and for good reason.

Romano has done a great deal of touring in recent years as an opening slot for bigger acts like Whitehorse, so this was a rare opportunity to see a full set from the ex-punk-rocker-turned-AM-country-music-legend.

Grey Kingdom provided his staple good-natured humour and pretty folk songs for which he has become known. It was an appropriate opening act that helped set the mood and ease people into Romano and his backing band, The Trilliums.

After a short break, The Trilliums took the stage in classic western attire, complete with flat-brimmed ranger hats and vintage jackets. Burton joined the group on acoustic and backup vocals. Romano took to the stage like a former legend with a classic honky-tonk suit and a delayed entrance.

We’re three albums into his solo country career and people have begun to realize that this isn’t parody for Romano: it’s his bread and butter. He pulls off every element of the throwback country genre so well.

Romano played all the hits from his three-album back catalogue. He is such a talented musician and has surrounded himself with players of the same caliber including Canada’s go-to pedal steel man, Aaron Goldstein.

The band was hot, Romano was on, the wardrobe was perfect and the set was great. And although he mimics former stars, like George Jones, flawlessly, he is missing one thing: the sense of charisma and charm that many of the classic country music stars possessed. While all the components of a great musician and great performance were present, something was missing and halfway through the set, it began feeling like a tribute show.

By Tanner Holthe
Photos by Shilo Baribeau

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