Canadian Music Week Reviews: Day 4

Alright, so my last day (the festival is technically over by tomorrow morning, but I was too exhausted to go out. I know, lame) of CMW was a bit more relaxed than the others. I didn’t go to any conferences, but I did go to Criminal Records to see Aidan Knight, Dan Mangan and Hollerado. Then I went over to the Horseshoe for Yukon Blonde, the Balconies, the Beauties, the Wooden Sky and Two Hours Traffic.

So. Criminal show. Aidan played a beautiful set with a pretty large band for a small store — keyboards, upright bass, drummer, fuglehorn, cello, guitars. He did really well and I definitely caught a TON of girls gushing over him in the crowd. (Girls, he has a girlfriend!) He found he couldn’t really talk while doing his guitar tune-ups, nor could he do the tune-ups, so he made some hilarious remarks that left people hanging (“like those pants!”) but it was endearing. He played most of the songs off of his fabulous new album, Versicolour.

At the end, Mangan and Hannah Georgas came up to help him sing “Jasper.” Video to come soon!

But as people (including me, the short one) couldn’t really see during Knight’s (the tall one’s) set, the staff made everyone sit down for Dan Mangan and Hollerado’s performances. People got kind of whiny because the floors were wet seeing as there was a torrential downpour going on outside. Oh well. Mangan put on a really sweet show with Knight as his electric guitar player and also with an upright bass player and drummer. They were all pretty cute together! Mangan also told some jokes — one he even stopped a song to tell — just adding to the “aw shucks” factor that Knight had set. Georgas came back up to sing “Robots” as well. Video soon!

I moved to the back for Hollerado’s set so I could a) stand and b) leave early as I was just killing time at that point before the Horseshoe show (I was originally going to go to the Indies but that was changed). I can totally see their appeal, but I couldn’t get into them. I feel like they’re about five years too late.

So after some more time killed in Starbucks, I got to the Horseshoe. Met and saw a few more great people. It really amazed me how great this CMW was. SO GOOD. I saw and met so many great people. I like industry festivals, that means I’ll know people at shows, haha. I’m sad it’s over (again, for me) now!

Anyways, Yukon Blonde put on a fantastic set. I felt like everything I wrote in my review of their album was true. They’re charismatic, loving of their audience and full-fledged rockers.

Then the Balconies were on, and I thought they killed that set. It was a lot more energized than their record, and it was worth it. I have a total girl crush on the girl singer.

The Beauties were on next, but I didn’t really pay much attention to them.. I also see their appeal, but can’t get into it.

I reviewed the Wooden Sky and Two Hours Traffic sets. I also took pictures! So read on..

The Wooden Sky
Toronto, ON March 13
By Jessica Lewis

Alt-country Torontonians the Wooden Sky are really starting to kick the game up a score. While in no way at a loss for an appreciative crowd, they put so much energy into this set that sweat was dripping off the instruments. This is a big difference from their albums, but that’s a plus; band that can play the same songs in two almost entirely different ways and pull it off deserves a pat on the collective back. The Wooden Sky summoned a violin player to add to the sound, but front-man/guitarist Gavin Gardiner and bassist Andrew Wyatt were the power axis, singing with red faces and mauling their instruments.

Two Hours Traffic
Toronto, ON March 13
By Jessica Lewis

Though Two Hours Traffic’s set only included one new song, it was the familiar ones like “Drop Alcohol,” “Night Hawks” and “Jezebel” that got the crowd moving. This Charlottetown-based band’s summery pop rock is good for any season, and it only gets better with age. It was also good to see these four guys get more playful on stage, as they usually come off pretty professional for a peppy sound.

CMW – The Wooden Sky
Toronto, ON March 13
By Jessica Lewis

Alt-country Torontonians the Wooden Sky are really starting to kick the game up a score. While in no way at a loss for an appreciative crowd, they put so much energy into this set that sweat was dripping off the instruments. This is a big difference from their albums, but that’s a plus; band that can play the same songs in two almost entirely different ways and pull it off deserves a pat on the collective back. The Wooden Sky summoned a violin player to add to the sound, but front-man/guitarist Gavin Gardiner and bassist Andrew Wyatt were the power axis, singing with red faces and mauling their instruments.

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