| March 18, 2011 | Comments (142)

Canadian Music Fest: Day 3
March 11th, 2011
Artists (Descending): Listener, Derek Zanetti, Orphan Choir, Esben & The Witch, Karkwa, Maylee Todd, Gabby Young, GIRL, Chasing Eve, Roguesix, J Mascis
Venues: Sonic Boom, Revival, Wrongbar, Parts & Labour

The third day of Canadian Music Fest was one of the longer days of the festival. Starting off the evening was an instore performance by J Mascis, the main guitarist of influential alternative rock band Dinosaur Jr. Armed only with an acoustic guitar and a lot of distortion pedals he showed that he didn’t really need anything else. With the store packed to the brim with fans he took the audience through a number of new songs off his forthcoming album before dipping back into older material. The sounds he emitted from his guitar were simply mind blowing and it goes to show just how skilled a guitarist he is. Some photos have been posted here!

Up next it was off to Revival for what was perhaps the strangest bill I’d see all festival. Opening up the show was Toronto pop punk band Roguesix, who were playing as part of the promotion for an EMI Mobile Artist contest. Fronted by Ashley Grafe they definitely had a great stage presence, and are reminiscent of early Paramore. With 30 minutes to work with they made the most of their time and definitely left a good impression. Check out the band’s performance with photos HERE!

Following them was hard rock group Chasing Eve, who despite playing well were absolutely not my thing. Channeling hard rock bands like Three Days Grace and Finger Eleven they seemed to be good at what they were doing. Musically they were extremely tight on stage and singer Adam Lombardi complemented them perfectly. Have a look at the photos here!

Next up was GIRL from Montreal, quickly shifting from hard rock to alternative indie music. The entire band took the stage in matching suit jackets and sun glasses cutting quite the dapper figure on stage. Muscially they performed very well and had great on stage energy. By now the place was starting to fill up and they had a good audience to play for. Click here for photos!

After this was an even more drastic genre shift as folk singer Gabby Young took the stage. As a British musician she recruited a horn section from the local university students who it has to be said played admirably on short notice. Dressed in a particularily strange get up, with elaborate make up and hair, she made quite the picture on stage. She had a great voice to go with her quirky pop songs, however she really shone when she put down her guitar and let her funner side show. Click here for photos of her performance!

Lastly it was time for Maylee Todd & Pegwee Power to take the stage at Revival. Unfortunately, there were some issues in setting up her gear, as well as that of the band and the sound check ended up taking a good 20 minutes, and severely cut into her set. Even when she did get started the sound was still sporadically cutting out. However, she didn’t seem to let that bother her too much. Her soulful pop tunes came across very well and she seemed to be having a great time with her large band on stage. Unfortunately with all the sound issues she only ended up having 20 minutes to play and her set was over far too soon. Click for photos of the show.

Next it was time to make the hop over to Wrongbar, where I arrived just in time for the Polaris Prize winning Karkwa to take the stage. It has been a long while since the last time I saw them, and while I was certainly not impressed back then, things have clearly changed much for the better. The band I remember as being rather sedate on stage has turned it up to 11. They powered their way through their set rarely stopping at all, except to try and thank the crowd in broken english. While Esben and The Witch were meant to be the main draw, you got the impression that Karkwa made a much stronger impression. Click here to view Karkwa in photos!

When Esben & The Witch took the stage they launched quickly into their set and didn’t really pause at all once they got started. Playing in near darkness they played through a set largely based off their new album ‘Violet Cries’. Singer Rachel Davies sounded absolutely fantastic on stage even though they didn’t have much performance presence.  All band members played their respective instruments as well as all doing duty on the small drum set set up in the centre of the stage. My photos of their set can be viewed here!

Next it was time to hop over to the last venue of the night, stopping in at Parts & Labour for a couple of bands. First up on the bill was Orphan Choir from Windsor, they played a  charged set of punk rock. One thing to note about Parts & Labour is that it is basically a basement and this was the perfect setting for this set, with the band bouncing around the room. Click here for a few photos!

Next up was a quick set from Derek Zanetti from the Homeless Gospel Choir, he played a couple of songs between sets. His songs were extremely well written and clever takes on modern America. A highlight was his closing number called ‘The Holiday Song’ which had the crowd singing along.

Finally it was time for Dan Smith from Listener to take to the stage, with just himself, a laptop, and a horn as well as a box to stand on it made for a very simple stage set up. However you could’ve been forgiven for not noticing any of it. The second Smith opens his mouth it’s almost impossible not to be spellbound by his performance. His style of hip-hop he calls talk music is riveting to watch as he pours his heart and soul out on stage. While most of the people towards the front of the crowd already knew what to expect, they still couldn’t help being blown away by just how good the show was. Click here now to view photos of Listener!

Check out all the photos from my coverage of day 3 of this year’s Canadian Music Week:

Chasing Eve photos

Derek Zanetti photos

Esben & The Witch photos

GIRL photos

Gabby Young photos

J Mascis photos

Karkwa photos

Listener photos

Maylee Todd & Pegwee Power& photos

Orphan Choir photos

Roguesix photos

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