Detour Music Hall to host Canadian bands Young Rival and XPRIME

Young Rival – Detour Music Hall, Thurs. Feb. 4 at 8:00 p.m.:
Based out of Hamilton, Young Rival is a popular Canadian indie band made up of Aron D’Alesio (singer/guitarist), John Smith (bassist), and Noah Fralick (drummer). The group has been active in the music industry since 2007 and currently has three albums and one EP released. The trio will be stopping for a show at St. Catharines’ Detour Music Hall on Thurs. Feb. 4.

“We’ve actually played quite a bit in St. Catharines over the years, I think eight or ten times,” said Smith. “It started off as a slow build here but once we picked up speed they’ve always been really good shows.”

Young Rival is currently on a Canadian and European tour and are usually well received by their fans in both locations. The success of their multinational touring has been an important factor in solidifying Young Rival’s fan base, as well as extending their music beyond their home borders. John Smith said that the experience they receive in both places differs greatly from each other.

Young Rival /

Young Rival /

“Both are very different experiences because they’re very different places,” said Smith. “We typically rent a van and have drivers, so that definitely changes the experience. We always have an amazing time in Europe and we get to see places we wouldn’t normally go to. Canada is also a good time because it’s an amazing country and there are so many famous venues that we get to see and play in. This tour has been fun and we’ve played quite a few shows around Ontario so it’s been great playing new songs for the fans.”

Mostly, the band enjoys their time on the road and appreciate what touring offers them, from the fans to the venues to the music. When asked about his favourite part of touring, Smith reiterated that the traveling was a high point.

“I want to say the boring, simple answer of waking up to a nice cup of coffee in the morning,” said Smith. “But a more exciting answer would be all the traveling to new places and meeting people you’d never otherwise meet, and seeing places you’d never otherwise see. It’s not the same as actually touring the places, but we get to see venues and bars you wouldn’t normally check out otherwise.”

Young Rival’s newest album, Interior Light, features the same eclectic melodies the band is known for, but with a fresh take on their style.

“Thematically, Interior Light goes over a lot of different ground and few places we haven’t gone before musically,” said Smith. “Aron [D’Alesio] wrote a lot of the lyrics and he’s always had a good way of blending self-reflection and humour – there’s a certain charm to the songs because of that. With this album we wanted to really push ourselves production wise and sound wise.”

Young Rival will make a stop in Waterloo before coming to St. Catharines and then finish the rest of the Canadian leg of their tour in London, before heading on to Europe.

“We’re looking forward to being back in St. Kitts,” said Smith.

Tickets are still available for Young Rival’s upcoming show on

XPRIME – Detour Music Hall, Fri. Feb. 5 at 8:00 p.m.:
Local Niagara Falls (originally Welland) band XPRIME, will return home to perform at Detour Music Hall as part of their cross Canada tour this week on Fri. Feb. 5. The trio, made up of Neil Carson (bass/vocals) Steph Mercier (guitar/vocals), and Phil Taylor (drums), has been active in the music scene for a number of years now, and released their latest EP, PM, in June of 2015. Currently, they are finishing up a tour of central and eastern Canada, and are hoping to be back on the road to see the rest of Canada.

“We’re very excited to do our first full-on national tour this coming fall, but so far we’ve only toured central and eastern Canada,” said Phil Taylor. “The Maritimes are really pretty when it’s not raining – but our last tour that brought us out there left us pretty wet. The further you go outside of Southern Ontario, the more driving it takes to get to the next city/venue – it’s nice that we get to see so much of our own country – but most of what we see ends up being concert venues, bars and roads.”

The group of three has spent their last five years in the music industry trying to find a signature sound and perfect their style through the music they produce. Their music features heavy alternative, rock, and pop influence and at present the band has three EPs for fans to enjoy. A listen to their newest work, PM, will display much more mature tones and style than their previous music, which signifies a growth for the band, and prompts new listeners to check them out.

XPRIME also boasts a number of high profile festival appearances such as Osheaga, Edgefest 2, and Canada’s largest New Year’s Eve show in Niagara Falls, as well as being opening acts for high profile artists like Weezer, the Arkells, Keith Urban, USS, Nick Jonas, and Lights.

The band spoke very highly of their new album and is proud of the work they have created.
“PM is a collection of songs we wrote. We all started experimenting with new dynamics between us and finding our voices. We wrote different lyrics exploring different topics and started to find our sound – it all came pretty naturally,” said Phil Taylor.

XPRIME / xprimemusic

XPRIME / xprimemusic

Touring has also been a large part of XPRIME’s recent years and an attributing factor to their growing success. The band says that coming back home to the Niagara Region always makes for a good time with friends and fans.

The band is excited to be coming back home to the Niagara region and were quick to joke about what they are most looking forward to.

“We get to sleep in our own beds,” said Phil Taylor. “But in all seriousness, St. Catharines has always been great to us — it’s where it all started, and our fans and friends here are some of the most supportive and loving people we know. The audiences here are like our family — they always see/hear our new songs first and are definitely the most receptive and loyal… After all, it is home! We’re always well received; even after the change in lineup that saw us turn from a 4-piece to a 3-piece band this past fall. Everyone came out in full force and really reassured us that moving forward as three was going to be great!”

Overall, the band loves touring, and they’ve cited it as one of their favourite parts of the whole music experience.

“We love playing our music live and it’s even better when we get to introduce it to new people in different cities. We make new friends and see new sights every day and it’s what keeps us going despite the long hours spent in a van,” said Phil Taylor.

XPRIME will be continuing to work on making new music for fans and hope to tour nationally around Canada in the coming months.

“We just released a new music video for the single “All To Myself” this past month,” said Phil Taylor. “We started experimenting with different video concepts and Steph [Mercier] really outdid himself with the editing for the video. We’re now in the midst of writing our new full-length album we’re hoping to release in August 2016 that uses many of the new songs we’ve been trying out live.”

Tickets are still available for XPRIME’s upcoming show on

Laura Sebben
Assistant Arts & Culture Editor

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