Toronto-based indie-rock band Apostle of Hustle played a rocking set on a very hot afternoon this past Sunday on the opening of the annual Canada Day celebration at Central Park SummerStage. However it was clear that the audience was mostly there to see the headliners Sloan, a Nova Scotia group influenced by early U2.
Apostle of Hustle opened the show with an upbeat song that was followed by "National Anthem of Nowhere," which vocalist/guitarist Andrew Whiteman dedicated to all his fellow Canadians present. They were well-received and followed that with a mostly instrumental tune in which bassist Julian Brown picked up a guitar (which he played for most of the concert using an octave pedal) and traded licks with Whiteman. Whiteman sang several songs in Spanish, which he learned during a brief trip to Cuba.
The band then went into yet another instrumental jam, this time garnering inspiration from fellow Canadian power trio Rush. The tune had a twisting bass-line which was followed by some fine keyboard work from their percussionist, who also showed fine chops while playing a Brazilian pandeiro (tambourine) in another tune.
For their closing song, they chose yet another instrumental tune, which Whiteman dedicated to "all the people who have furry pants in their closets and are not afraid to admit it," a reference to rave fans.
The concert was a good introduction to a larger audience – the band has played several smaller gigs in the U.S. (they finished up a month-long residency at Manhattan's Mercury Lounge on Monday night). So this proved to be a rare occasion to see them outdoors at a free and larger venue.