USS, Friday evening, and a select few that get to enjoy it all. What could be better? How about if the band bought you a drink? Well, yeah, all those things happened. Last week, United Synergy Seeker (USS) and 102.1 The Edge took of Mill Street Brewery for an acoustic show. Anna Boyes was there to watch the whole thing go down, check out her photos from the secret event below.
It’s a simple love story really…I just really love July Talk. Tuesday, they played a free showcase for The Edge and this is what happened.
The room is black. Windows covered, the instruments in the centre taunt those who have been waiting outside for over an hour.
Front row with shaky hands and a racing heart, I smile widely. No matter how many times I see them play, July Talk makes me feel as excited as a six year old at a One Direction concert. Though I pride myself for not jumping on them and crying as they stride passed. Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay (vocals), guitarist Ian Docherty, bassist Josh Warburton and drummer Danny Miles take their places marked on the floor. With a glance around the room, it’s clear, my internal reaction is seen in the eyes of many others in the crowd. Gathered in a circle, we wait as the band waves and thanks us. We cheer, they smile, and the anticipation in the room breaks at the first note of Push and Pull.
Three songs for the Sugar Beach session were expected, but soon after the final song ends a little bit of sadness arises. We came, we saw, Peter screamed, it ended.
Or so we thought.
Another song began. It became very clear a mini July Talk concert was breaking out. With each show different from the last, the only thing to be expected is the unexpected. Dropping to the floor, Fay crawling and both eating microphones, the band plays a set selected by the audience as they go. A few songs in, fans are called to join Dreimanis in the centre to sing Fay’s part of Paper Girl while she walks around the room thanking everyone for coming.
New songs from their album are played and it’s the best way to hear the singles before their second album Touch is released next month. Never failing to amaze, the band ends sweaty, smiling and leaving everyone satisfied.
Check out more photos of the show below.
Shake your inner 13-year-old awake. Billy Talent just played The Horseshoe.
Big band, smaller stage. A few months ago The Lumineers played The Mod Club as a part of The Secret Thing, giving fans a chance to see a big band on a small stage. The catch? You have to win to get in and you don’t know who you’re seeing until they take the stage. A few weeks ago, 102 The Edge’s Fred and Mel made promise of a lifetime once again.
Eagerly, people came dressed in everything from high heels and mini dresses to worn Docs and trucker hats. The mishmashed crowd murmured on their way in, getting teased by the camera crew weaving throughout the front of The Horseshoe prodding for guesses.
July Talk, Drake, Prince (yes, someone said Prince) were all guessed to be the band of honour, but the most believed rumour was The Red Hot Chilli Peppers were somewhere backstage. No Peppers, but another throwback band. Billy Talent took the stage and jumped right into their set full of their previous hits, as well as, songs off of their newest album Afraid of Heights released Friday.They came, they played and they ignited the inner 13-year-old emo in all of us. Check out the photos from the show below.
Big band. Small Venue. Win to enter. The words had been said over 102.1 The Edge for weeks in anticipation for Fred and Mel’s Secret show. The secret band would be playing the MOD Club and no one would find out who was playing until they hit the stage.
Murmurs of the suspected band passed throughout the line, which was wrapped around the block. It was time to find out who all the fuss was about. By the time the doorman gave out stamps everyone was certain The Lumineers were waiting backstage.
The rumours were true. The band took the stage after the crowd tucked away their phones in locked cases provided by the venue. They played songs off of their latest album, Cleopatra, and the hits everyone wanted to hear.During their breakout single, Ho Hey, a phone was spotted in the crowd by lead singer, Wesley Schultz.
Mid-song, Schultz stopped the band from playing and pointed to the crowd.
“Now, I’ve spotted a cell phone,” he chuckled, setting down his guitar. “I’m not playing until that’s gone.”
With a grin he sat on stage until security confiscated the phone. The crowd laughed as he picked up his guitar and began at the note he left off at.
The evening came before any future Toronto show dates were announced.
For Lumineers fans who didn’t get a chance to see the show. As of today, the band announced a Toronto tour date. The band will be back in Toronto on July 28th.
As the holidays grow near and the season gets more aggressive, so do the bands in the Jingle Bell Series. Bringing all of the rockers out to play, Wolf Alice headlined a show at the Phoenix on Friday. Playing songs off of their debut album, My Love Is Cool, the four-piece rock band from the UK made their stop in Toronto a memorable show. Playing a few months ago at Adelaide Hall, the band amped up their energy to match the larger venue. They seamlessly fit into the larger space and the slightly less impersonal feel was outweighed by dedicated fans jumping at the bands feet.
Brave Shores played to an amped up crowd. They’re slightly haunting, a little bit quirky and perfectly in their own sound. Heavy synth inspired songs with a pop infused tone added a little dancing to the evening.
Such great names and the series is far from over. The next shows in the series are Bear Mountain at Adelaide Hall and The Beaches with K.I.D. at Lee’s Palace on December 10th. Following is Banners on the 11th at The Drake.
Stopping by The Edge for the first time, indie artist, Banners played a small sample of what’s to come at his upcoming performance at The Drake Hotel. The Performance on December 11th is part of the Edge’s Jingle Bell Series- a month long series of shows spread out among the city offering some of today’s best artists, hidden and in the spotlight. Enjoy photos of his performance below.
Wolf Alice, Whitehorse, and Coleman Hell will be playing in this year’s Edge Jingle Bell Concert Series..and that’s just the beginning. Christmas can sure as hell come early if it means these names are coming to the city. Starting on November 21st Cario will kick off the series of shows, at MOD Club. The events will take place at various venues throughout the city like Adelaide Hall, The Phoenix, and Lee’s Palace. Taking place from November to December 17th, the shows will feature a discovery series featuring some local acts, like Blue Sky Miners.
Tickets are already on sale, check out more at The Edge.
Cario – The Mod Cub – November 21st
Houndmouth – The Mod Club – Dec 1st
Whitehorse – Danforth Music Hall Dec 2nd
Wolf Alice + Brave Shores – The Phoenix Concert Center – Dec 4th
K.I.D. + The Beaches – Lee’s Palace – Dec 10th
Coleman Hell – Lee’s Palace – Dec 17th
The Phoenix Concert Hall was filled to the brim at the 2015 CASBY Awards was preparing to welcome the final band of the evening. USS was chanted from the crowd as the band was jumping to warm up on the stage side. USS T-shirts were smothered in darkness as the lights went out. The deafening cheers rose, biting through my ear plugs as the band walked on stage ready to end the show.
Unfamiliar to USS, the excitement was still contagious, judging by the crowds reaction, it was the perfect way to end the show. They took their places after waving to the crowd.
A few moments in to the performance the crowd erupted into cheering, dancing hypnotized party animals. Stage divers were passed up to the front (pissing of security) but pleasing the band. Ash Buchholz and Jason “Human Kebab” Parsons, still beaming from their two wins earlier in the evening, one CASBY for New Favourite Song and the second for their album Advanced Basics going gold in Canada. The band is breathtaking and have just placed themselves as my new favourite band to see live. USS doesn’t just show up and play, they throw a party you just barely recover from.
The CASBY awards are different from other awards shows. The event doesn’t just present awards but they celebrate music. This year, they brought along some of Canada’s best bands to celebrate with them. Monster Truck, The Zolas, USS, Yukon Blonde and The Edge’s Next Big Thing winners, Ivory Hours all performed sets that were different than their usual stage presence. The winners of the evening were Colemen Hell for Best New Artist, Mother Mother for New Favourite Record, Metric for Best Sugar Beach Session, and USS for Favourite New Song. There is a different feel at an awards show, than a show. It’s not that small vacant feeling of too many bands being pressed into a bill at a music festival. It’s quite the opposite. It’s a vibe of togetherness, and the theme of fun.
Opening up the show Monster Truck stepped out of the ’80s decked in jeans, beards and long hair perfect for flipping , and offered an amazing performance that was the perfect start to the show. Guitarist, Jeremy Widerman, couldn’t contain himself from the audience during the set. Jumping over the amps to play with his feet to the crowd at the stages edge.
Familiar to the Zola’s circa 2012, meaning, I love Knot in my Heart. The band came and showcased their newer songs, which are a far more upbeat and uplifting. There is still that darker, Zola feel to them. They came to celebrate, though they didn’t win, and it was hard to not smile while the band covered every part of the stage.
I’m pretty sure Luke Ross might have the happiest best guitar face. Cleary excited to perform Ivory Hours, stepped onto the stage where a little over a month ago they put on a performance that won them their title. A month later, they came back and showed the crowd again, that they’re the ones to watch.
Young Empires have a cool toned down energy to them, that only they could pull off. Performing everything the crowed wanted to hear off of The Gates. Having seen them a few years ago, it was surprising to see them now. Having solidified their sound and the newer refined version of the band they’ve definitely come into their own.
Bringing a few dancers to their set. Yukon Blonde, came and put on a show, that made you forget that you weren’t at one of their concerts. Playing with energy, the band brought out two dancers to match their sound.
The show proved Canada has an epic music scene with dedicated fans. Even if the crowd wasn’t familiar with the band on stage, they cheered, crowd surfed and danced until the night ended. Everyone went home already counting down until next years awards.
After playing The Phoenix and putting their best set forward, Thrifty Kids’— an indie-surf rock band from Ottawa—Sarah Cogan shares a little about the band’s future and her thoughts on performing.
You just walked off stage, how do you feel right now?
“This is definitely this biggest crowd we’ve ever played ever. So many people, it feels great! We were talking about that you can’t see anything when you’re up there, so we just felt so confident and so alive. It’s all about the vibes in the crowd and they were giving some good vibes, it was great. It’s just a good time up there.” Cogan said.
What can we expect from the band?
“We’re in the midst of recording an album right now. You’re going to hear more of the mellow vibes, the surf tones, and just a lot more vocal harmonies. We’re experimenting a lot more and we want to create more of a fuller sound.”
Amidst the album, the band is also planning a large uproot to Toronto.
“We’re actually singing our lease tomorrow,” she gushed. “We’ll be moving to Toronto September 1st.”
The band has a loving history with the city; their first show in the city became ranked as their best.
“Our best show ever was at The Piston.” Cogan recalled. “It was good food, great people and good times. It was a great bill.”
With talks of shows in the future, an album on the way and their fate yet to be announced, this band is definitely one to keep an eye on.
The Band: After meeting in school and recording their self-titled EP, released back in February, as part of a school project, Thrifty Kids have made an impressive start for themselves. From the three tracks released, Cherry Wine, Granola, and Dry, they’ve mastered a striking first EP. Their sound is a nostalgic trance of surf-rock with an honest purity. Yet, there is a small sense of reserve that makes you crave more of them. Sarah Cogan (vocals) Dylan Frankland (guitar), Cam Alford (bass) and Simon Kou (drums), will no doubt unleash a few surprises in the future.