It’s the opportunity of a lifetime and tomorrow the lives of one band will be changed as they’re named The Edge’s Next Big Thing. On Friday, the final 6 bands: The Honest Heart Collective, Midday Swim, Small Town Lungs, Thrifty Kids, Ivory Hours and Spells of Vertigo battled it out for friends, family, and fans at The Phoenix. With $25,000 dollars, gear from Long and McQuade, studio time at the world-renowned Metalworks Studios, and not to mention, airplay on 102.1 the Edge as just a few of the perks awarded to the winners, the artists made sure they played the set of a lifetime.
First up was The Honest Heart Collective. From Thunder Bay, the five-piece band played a mix of indie-rock to a packed-enthusiastic crowd. Able to draw people to the front of the stage with their first song, the band didn’t lack crowd interaction. Slightly nervous, lead Ryan MacDonald praised himself for overcoming the nerves set off by the biggest show the band has ever played.
Slowing things down with their mix of beachy rock, Thrifty Kids, came, dominated and left a lingering note of mystery. They may not be well known just yet, but they left the audience wondering where the young talents came from and how could they hear more. Torontonians need not to worry, singer Sarah Cogan says the band will be Toronto-based in September.
Midday Swim kept the chilled vibes flowing by playing songs from their self-titled EP. The seasoned pros didn’t seem to be bothered by nerves, but rather overthrown with excitement as David Krygier-Baum explained before the show.
“We’re just excited for the energy. We can’t wait to play for friends and family [as well as] to play with some great bands,”
Bringing back classic rock, Spells of Vertigo took the stage. Grunge and hair thrashing oozed from the stage and consumed the audience. The band invited the crowd into their dark world which is made up of skilled guitar and menacing vocals so enticing the crowd couldn’t help but accept their invitation.
The crowd went crazy when Ivory Hours hit the stage. A fan favourite the boys from London, Ont. offered up a high-energy set that enthralled the crowd from beginning to end. Running, jumping and singing up a storm Luke Ross has mastered how to give a great performance.
The final band of the night may have gotten the biggest reaction from the crowd. Adding some dance to the mix, Small Town Lungs played to an adoring crowd that begged for an encore once their set was finished. Backstage singer, Tom Meikle admitted to feeling bit at odds with the competition aspect.
“Sure if we win it’d advance our careers majorly, but in the end we’re still gonna keep going,” he said before their show.
Mastering how to mix textures, layer tones and play the hell out of their instruments, you could never tell that they haven’t played a show this serious previously. It was clear they played to win.
There wasn’t a single downfall or fluke of the night. All six bands played their best show and made it impossible to rank one above the other. Each having mastered their own sounds be it from to pop or alternative rock it’s certain that all the contestants are the next big things in the making.
Tune in to 102.1 The Edge Tomorrow Morning at 10 to find out who will officially receive the title.