Wow…what a week, let alone year for concerts! Seeing Tool in January was a great way to kick things off (click here for my previous post on Tool). Did the music gods cast some amazing spell to ensure that most of my favourite bands and artists would be coming to Toronto in 2012? Certainly one contributing factor of our dwindling savings is the number of concert tickets I’ve purchased so far. Well, my view is that concerts are once-in-a-lifetime experiences; ones I absolutely love and never regret. Perhaps it’s the inner singer in me, wishing that I were talented enough to be the one on the stage. Sigh…karaoke will just have to do. Here is a quick re-cap of my week of fab concerts during Canadian Music Week (CMW2012):
This group from Burlington, ON continues to make waves (click here to see my previous post about WOTE), having just been certified gold – yay! Back from a quick tour in Germany, they played a packed house at The Hoxton. WOTE played a number of their hits such as “Someone Like You“, “Cheers (Drink To That)“, “Money Tree“, “From Me To You“, and of course “Somebody I Used To Know“. Their unconventional, independent style flowed through their performance on stage, with runners gently tossing band mates instruments at appropriate moments during a song, or Sarah/Gianni/Marshal trading instruments throughout their set. Sarah was great at engaging the crowd; she walked through the mob, propped herself up onto the bar, and sang a portion of a song literally one foot away from me. Gianni Luminati did some crowd surfing too. WOTE has great chemistry and it looks like they have a ball on stage. I just love WOTE’s covers, they take on a really unique perspective on each song and make them their own. All in all a great concert! Looking forward to seeing their continued success!
A buddy of ours is the guitarist for local Toronto rock band, Die By Remote. I’d describe their style as rock with heavy guitar and bass, great drums, layered with emotional vocals. You will definitely head bob to their music, and I often find myself humming one of their hit songs. I’m starting to really like “Over“. Formed a couple of years ago, they have since achieved some amazing milestones: First place at a battle of bands at The Mod Club; named September 2011 Indie Artist of the Month by The Edge 102.1; featured in The Edge 102.1 Nu Music Tuesday at the Horseshoe; a meet and greet with EMI execs; and nominated for Best Live Electric Performance at the 2012 Toronto Independent Music Awards. Most recently, they were a Top 10 Finalist of the EMI MOArtist.com competition held last Friday afternoon at The Rivoli. Bands, solo artists, family and fans from across the country gathered together in the back concert hall (I never knew it existed!). Each finalist performed one song for the judges. The panel included two execs from EMI plus Farley Flex, best known as a judge on Canadian Idol. DBR performed their hit single “Only One” and killed it! The competition was full of great talent, and in the end, the judges selected not just one but two winners. Although DBR wasn’t chosen, they honestly did a great job and will no doubt continue to enjoy more success. To learn more about them, click on the above link for their website or check out their Facebook page! Their next gig will be posted soon.
Danielle Duval is a childhood friend from Montreal; I’ve known her since I think Grade 3 or 4. We reconnected back in 1999 at a school reunion, and then lost touch again until I saw recently, through Facebook, that Danielle was doing a few gigs here in Toronto. I caught up with her back in February at The Dakota Tavern – she is awesome! Danielle is an indie artist with a rock/pop style. I love the description on her tumblr site: “Delivered by a magnetically gutsy voice, the artist encapsulates a style and grit that harkens back to the likes of Patti Smith and Joan Jett. The music is old school, harmony driven pop, mixed with an early rock n’ roll sensibility. The new sound will getcha.” She recently released her second album, Of The Valley; my favourites are “Control” and “You Can’t Come Any Closer“. I’m not normally a video person, but check out her latest video for “Ambulance” – very cool. You may recognize her cover of “You’re The One That I Want” which was featured on the TV hit series Californiacation. During Canadian Music Week, Danielle performed at the Pandyamonium Showcase at Czehoski. Unfortunately we got there late because we got caught up in a game of Settlers of Catan at a friend’s place (SO sorry Danielle!). Danielle sounds great live, and the crowd couldn’t agree more…all chanting “Encore! Encore!”. Hopefully more live gigs soon!
The Temper Trap is definitely a recent fave band of mine (see my previous post). They played a full house at The Phoenix last night, and what a show! They were very excited to be back in Toronto and repeatedly thanked us for being there – hellz ya! They are releasing their second album soon (available in Canada in early June) so tested out a number of new singles like “Need Your Love” and, I think, “Where Do We Go From Here“. I find their newer songs a lot more emotional, a bit softer…makes me think that Dougy Mandagi or the rest of the group have gone through some recent tough emotional battles. You can see the emotion pouring out of Dougy on stage during each new song. They played classics such as “Love Lost” and “Sweet Disposition“. The highlight for me was “Drum Song” – a favourite of mine and it was absolutely spectacular live. Dougy’s vocals rock, how the heck can he hit those high notes and maintain it throughout the set? Like the lyrics from Sweet Disposition: his voice is like “a moment, a love, a dream, aloud…”.
What a great week in music…upcoming concerts: Gotye (if I can get my hand on scalper’s tickets) and Ingrid Michaelson.