If you love live music, the loft at the Hard Rock Café is the place to be! The setting, the stage, and sound system is top quality. April marked our debut performance there. Because we had sold more tickets than any other band – over 120, we chose the first slot of five. On the bill with us were, Kunle, Devon Coxoxox, Synergist and After the Lounge.
The Toronto location of the Hard Rock Café is the company’s first location in North America opening up in 1978. Currently, there are 191 Hard Rock Cafés in 59 countries. It is known for showcasing not only the biggest names and bands but also up and coming indie bands and singer songwriters. The Rival Sons played on the same stage not too long ago. The area can hold up to 300 people. We had 150 for our event.
Before the show, the Cookies spent time downstairs mixing with their fans in the restaurant. The Wall of Power, which had screens blasting rock videos, and which had guitars and rock memorabilia encased in glass, infused the crowd with anticipation of the live show in the loft upstairs soon to begin.
The Event Manager, Miriam Kaplan, made sure we were set up just right, with Mikey, the sound and stage manager, handling all the microphone and sound mixing details.
Since we were the first band on the bill, we set up first and got to do a sound check playing a couple of songs (one with a thicker/distorted sound and the other one clean). When the doors opened outside, the people lined up on Yonge St. made their way upstairs to the stage area. We were dressed in our traditional black pants, black shirts, and black vests, and we were excited and ready to rock!
We started our set on schedule at 9:15pm. As Kelly played a grooving drum pattern, Nick introduced the night something like this: “Welcome to all of you – so many of you – who have come out to the Hard Rock Café to enjoy Indie Night with us, featuring 5 music bands. We are ‘Who Stole the Cookies?’ and we’ll be kicking off with some original boomer rock! [Applause] Thanks so much, ALL of you, for coming out tonight!... You know in life, there are many things you can’t change – whether it’s a situation, an event, or others. But what you can change is your outlook, your view, and what you do. As for the rest of it, it is what it is...” Then Tony boldly started the power chords to ‘It Is What It Is’ with Jamie on bass and Nick on rhythm crashing in after 8 beats.
Immediately, we felt an emotional connection with the crowd, and in particular a group of young people as they rushed forward towards the stage. It was humbling to hear the enthusiastic cheering and applause from the large audience.
We pride ourselves in crafting songs that makes rock sound the way it’s supposed to sound. All 8 of the songs we performed were our own and we received many uplifting comments after our performance.
It was very special performing at the historic Hard Rock Café. We have an open invitation to come back and may do it again soon. Thanks to all of you who came out, and to those who bought tickets but couldn’t make it. We hope to see you at our next show!!!!
– The Cookies