Keeps Tell Me About Their First Impression of Toronto

They went to a record store, got pizza, and then got some coffee.

Photo by Zachary Gray

By looking at Agustin Escalante (left) and Robbie Jackson, you might think they’re from Toronto. With Jackson dressed in vintage blue jeans and Escalante in retro stripes with matching corduroy lookalike pants, you wouldn’t bat an eye seeing them at a café on Queen West. But these boys  are straight out of Nashville, Tennessee. Playing at The Drake Hotel for their first time in the city, Keeps, took a little time after the show to spare some thoughts on their intro to the city.

“It feels like people here don’t really give a shit…which is awesome,” Robbie Jackson said. Escalante laughed in agreement. “It’s not even just the style, everyone here is just…really beautiful.”

Despite the lack of time to explore the city’s treasures in depth, they took to the culture straightaway, instantly declaring Queen Street “right up their alley”. With only a few hours to spare between arriving, unloading equipment and opening the show, they had a just enough time to get the breakdown on Queen West. Wandering among pizza parlours and record stores, the two noticed a few things about the city and the people.

“We come from Nashville where there is a line of style and everyone adheres to that,” Jackson said.

“Here, there is a fresh sense of style that’s really unique and genuine too,” Escalante said. Though there was a bigger revelation, in the city for just a few hours and the first question on their mind was,

Why are there so many attractive people here?” Escalante asked running his fingers through his curled hair. “And everyone is so nice. We were just unloading and people were like, ‘Oh are you guys playing tonight? It’s gonna be great.’  or they’d crack a joke like ‘You guys don’t pack light.’ they were so friendly, we were just like, where are we?”

“It’s so nice and refreshing to meet such nice, kind, warm, beautiful people.” Jackson said. The two shared another laugh.

The two front the band Keeps. They take the finest sounds of the past and mesh them into something modern, mesmerizing and adding a few grunge elements along the way. Having perfected their genre-bending sound in their past EP’s Rift and High both released in 2013, you don’t think they could sound any better. But watching them perform outweighed hearing them recorded. As soon as they took the stage, they crushed any unfamiliar feeling of a new band and made the room wonder where these two came from and how we haven’t heard of them before. The ease and confidence of their sound translates to an interesting stage dynamic, where Escalante smiles to himself between singing and Jackson looses himself in a world of his own.

If you haven’t discovered them yet, you’re missing out. Check out the photos of their performance here.

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