| March 18, 2011 | Comments (577)

CMW Day 1: Black Phoenix Orchestra, Chasing Amee, Wagons, Violent Kin, The Wormwood Scrubs
The Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, ON

March 9th, 2011

Canadian Music Fest got off to a great start on Wednesday night at the Horseshoe Tavern, with 5 great bands from all over the country, and the world. Opening up the night were The Wormwood Scrubs, the 4 piece from Waterloo bravely took the stage to a mostly empty venue but certainly didn’t seem to let that bother them. It’s no surprise they take their name from a Jam song, channeling a sound that was extremely reminiscent of the early 90’s British grunge invasion. Singer Steve Foy channelled his best Liam Ghallager as they played their way through a half hour set. They certainly did a good job of thrilling the fans they had brought along with them for the show. Click HERE for photos!

Up next on the bill was Saskatoon band Violent Kin, fronted by brother sister pairing Maygen and S.J. Kardash in addition to two other musicians. Playing a charged set of electronic heavy indie rock they soon had the crowd up front and moving. While S.J. stuck to guitar, Maygen switched between two keyboards, as well as stepping out from behind them to demonstrate her moves. Playing from their debut and album and recently released EP, as well as a few songs from their upcoming album that promises to be a real breakthrough. They had fantastic on stage energy, and most importantly seemed to be having a great time while performing. Photos can be viewed here!

Next up was Australian band Wagons, they are the group that initially drew me to this showcase, largely by virtue of the fact that their promotional photo had about 2 dozen members in it. The touring band though consisted only of 4 members, and while initially disappointed I was soon to be blown away. Playing charged folk rock they bounced around the stage with immense energy. Singer Henry Wagons was constantly engaging with the crowd, whether through hilarious banter between songs or jumping down into the crowd itself. The whole band was very tight, and by the end of the set there was no doubt they’d made a bunch of converts. Check out photos of their performance HERE!

The odd band out on the bill was Toronto’s Chasing Amee, why Canadian Music Fest would throw a band like this onto this show is beyond me. Regardless, they did play very well, and while it’s not something I would normally attend, it was easy to see why their fans love them so much. Thankfully to offset their miscasting on the bill, they did bring in a pretty decent number of fans. They had great energy on stage and did their best to engage the audience with varying levels of success. Click to see the photos! 

Last up for the night was Black Phoenix Orchestra, the Calgary four piece took to the stage backed by their own fog machine and two cheap disco lights, setting the stage for a fantastic set of psychedelic rock. The whole group moved around the stage very well which is a surprise for this type of music and the live show was particularly engaging throughout. While the band seemed annoyed that their fog machine stopped working a couple of songs in it certainly didn’t seem to affect the performance. The group definitely took the opportunity to make a fantastic impression. Check out the photos right HERE!


Here is a recap of where you will find all the photos from that night at the Horseshow Tavern during Canadian Music Week in Toronto:


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