From Washington, DC to London, Ontario, Wild Rivers is making a name for themselves in the world of music. This Toronto based indie folk band was born out of a duo that met in university in Kingston, Ontario. Devan & Khalid (the original group) expanded their band in 2015 creating a more holistic sound to their unique music while maintaining the compelling appeal of a male-female duo.
Wild Rivers is touring across Canada and even extended their reach into the United States with recent concerts in Washington, Boston and New York. For a seemingly new and upcoming band, they already have established a dedicated fan base who were very visible at the show in London on November 18 at The Rosewood. With only a debut album under their belt, the audience was familiar with all of the songs played and sang along in unison to every one of the poetic lyrics primarily written by Khalid.
Two years prior to releasing their self-titled debut album “Wild Rivers,” Devan & Khalid put out their first EP entitled “This Town.” Though their set list was mainly composed of songs from “Wild Rivers,” the audience was in for a treat when the band broke out songs featured on “This Town.”
Wild Rivers opened their show Friday night with “Undercover” followed by one of their singles and a crowd favorite, “Already Gone.” They then played a personal favorite, “Paul Simon,” a song featured on both the band’s 9-track album and Devan & Khalid’s first EP. Though Paul Simon himself is only mentioned once in the song’s lyrics, this interesting choice of title being a well-known musician is intriguing to one who may never have heard the song before. The first time around, “Paul Simon” was recorded acoustically with nothing more than a guitar and vocals. In concert, it was performed as seen on “Wild Rivers” with the addition of a drummer and bass player making for a foot tapping, high energy performance.
After closing their set with “Speak Too Soon,” a catchy sing-a-long finale, the crowd insisted upon hearing more. Not having anything else planned, Wild Rivers responded to their encore demand breaking out another song from “This Town.” They played “No Ribbons,” the first song for which they released a music video, paying homage to the beginning of their musical journey.
Being able to share in the joy of not only the band’s passion to create meaningful music but the audience’s appreciation for the magic of live music made for an unforgettable night. This folk quartet is definitely one to be on the lookout for over the next couple of years.
Set List: Undercover, Already Gone, Paul Simon, Rolling Stone, Heart Attack, Fish On A Hook, Mayday, Wandering Child, Speak Too Soon
Encore: No Ribbons