Valley from Toronto opens for COIN at Showbox

Valley from Toronto opens for COIN at Showbox

On Nov. 11 Valley, an indie pop band from Toronto, Canada, opened for COIN at Showbox SODO. By 6 p.m., fans were spared from the torrential downpours that occurred earlier in the day and were met with a light drizzle as they waited for the doors to open at 7 p.m.

Sebastian Linhart endured the rain while standing in line before the concert started.

“The experience standing in line was a little crazier than I thought it would be. We got there an hour early and still there were tons of people there already waiting. We even heard about people who were there since 11 a.m.,” Linhart said. 

Andrew Pizana and his boyfriend wanted to be in the front row of the sold out concert. They arrived nine hours early to the concert, at 11 a.m. Their dedication to waiting in line earned them front row spots just a few feet from the stage.

Valley and COIN greeted Andrew and his boyfriend and gave them gold wrist bands and ponchos. The gold wrist bands allowed them to leave the line to get food and other necessities and return to their place in line.

“We filled all of our time waiting in line just watching Netflix and making friends with the people around us. Once we got inside we made it to the front row which was so amazing,” Pizana said. 

The concert began at 8 p.m. with Valley performing a 30 minute set. As the audience gathered around the stage, music blared from the speakers increasing their anticipation for the performance to come. “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne was the final song to get the crowd energized before Valley ran on stage.

Before every performance, Valley listens to Stacy’s Mom and does a hand shake they call “the cinnamon roll.” Each band member places their right hand in the middle and they wrap their hands around one another to create a spiral they call a “cinnamon roll.”

The stage was illuminated with pink and yellow lights with accents of blue. Valley’s lead singer Rob Laska’s pink sweater and pink hair matched the pink lights on set. The entirety of the performance Laska was jumping around the stage and interacting with fellow band mates Karah James, Michael “Mickey” Brandolino and Alex Dimauro. 

Though most of the audience didn’t seem familiar with the band’s music, they were able to engage the crowd by teaching them refrains of the songs to chant. 

“Personally I had never heard of Valley but without realizing it I had heard their songs before. Valley put on a great show and did a great interacting with the crowd,” Linhart said.

Pizana also had not heard of Valley before attending the concert.

“Such an amazing performance with so much energy and it was so much fun. Whether you’ve heard their music or not, watching them perform was a blast,” Pizana said.

The band came together in 2016 when a studio accidentally double booked the duos. Laska and Dimauro’s band was falling apart at the end of high school. James and Brandolino were having a difficult time performing shows with only two people. When they accidentally met at the studio, they decided to become a band instantaneously. 

Laska and Dimauro grew up playing at skateparks and the YMCA. During these performances they played “alternative pop punk leaning music” according to Laska. James and Brandolino performed mainly pop songs and had a strong grasp of song writing. 

“It was the perfect marriage we needed. We both learned from each other, we were both fascinated by each other and that’s why it works,” Laska said. 

The blending of skill sets led to the formation of Valley.  

“Had we met any earlier or any later, I don’t know that it would have been the same,” Brandolino added.

It was Valley’s first time playing at Showbox SODO and third time playing in Seattle. They draw their musical inspiration from media they consume and their transitions into adulthood.

“We are all people making music. You can think of yourself as high and might that isn’t going to get you anywhere. We are fans of other bands too, we are fans of other artists. You are not God because you step on a stage and play for people,” James said. “We are doing what we love, everyone has a passion and purpose and this is ours. We are lucky to share it with people.” 

Valley announced on Nov. 15 they will be on their first headline tour in early 2022. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Nov. 17.