Concert Review: The Cliks @ The Drake Underground, 05/10/2013

Editorial: Amber Waves; Photography – J.J. Deogracias

The journey of The Cliks’ frontman is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

As if the formidable talent of Lucas Silveira wasn’t enough on its own — a blend of old-school rock and blues worthy of standing alongside Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton and other greats — the man himself has taken a tremendous journey under the harsh spotlight of celebrity.  The culmination of that journey is their latest release, Black Tie Elevator.  Brimming with soulful vocals and layered compositions, it’s easily the album Silveira’s been destined to make.

The Cliks @ The Drake Underground, 05/10/2013

The Cliks @ The Drake Underground, 05/10/2013

In a set dominated by the new material, The Cliks swaggered, riffed and evoked a swoon in the eager crowd at The Drake.  The favouring of new tracks seemed two-fold:  the night was an occasion to celebrate its release, but it was also a night to showcase Silveira’s voice after completing hormone therapy for his transition.  Although some hesitations were expressed in the milling crowds before the lights dimmed, by the time Lucas was belting out Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River”, his confidence and joy had won the masses over.

And what of the new music?  OTM plans to fully review and explore Black Tie Elevator in the future, but for now, I can say that it’s an incredibly polished set of songs.  And while stylistically, they meander from gritty blues dirges to exuberant R&B numbers, it’s the humble swagger of Silveira and the lush richness of his voice that ultimately makes them.  I have no doubt that someone has drawn a comparison to Elvis Presley in past years, but if I am the first to make that connection, consider me proud to do so.  Stage command, vocal power, likability — Silveira’s the cool guy you want to grab a beer with and talk for hours (and then sing around a fire with).

Having seen The Cliks several years ago, I must say that as impressed as I was back then, The Cliks have refined, revamped and reached their peak.  The heavier leaning on classic soul sounds brought back into the spotlight by the likes of Adele is a direction I am loving, although old favourites like “Oh Yeah” and “Dirty King” still bring a smile and a shimmy-shake to my concert experience.  Of particular note were new tracks “Savanna”, “No Good Do’er” and “Dark Passenger”, written after a viewing binge of Dexter (“That’s guy’s fucked up!” Silveira declared with a chuckle).  But it’s the softer tracks, like “Four Letter Words” or heartbreaker “Gone” that truly shine in the darkened club.

Like a fine wine, Silveira’s improved with age.  Drink deep, music fans.

 The Cliks’ website

Watch The Cliks perform “Dirty King”

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