Canadian Music Week Rundown: Day 4

As is often the case during music festivals, there are so many bands to see and  schedules often end up conflicting and hard choices about what show to go to have to start being made. Last night was one of those situations. Metric and a slew of indie favourites were playing at the Kool Haus, but the Horseshoe Tavern also had a killer lineup as well, all at the same time.

It’s kind of a tradition to see Metric in Toronto every time they play. I think in the last seven years, Ashley has only missed them once. So you can see the dilemma that arose here, does she pass up a tradition for a bunch of bands she’s been anxious to see and have heard a lot about? Or stick with what she knows and figure what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her?

After some deep soul searching, a negotiation was met.

The Indies presented by SeriousXM @ The Kool Haus

8pm – Cadence Weapon

We hit up the Kool Haus nice and early to see hip hop artist Cadence Weapon. With little background or interest in hip hop myself, this was definitely new territory for me, but it came highly recommended so I figured what the hell.

The unknown information going into the Indies that night was that the show was really just a Metric concert, and the eight other artists on the bill had an opportunity to play two songs each. Yes, each artist played two songs each and then they left the stage.

Thankfully we got there just as Cadence Weapon was starting, because those two songs went by quickly and it was over before I really had a chance to figure out whether I was into him or not. I will give him this, though; those two songs were stuck in my head during the walk from the Kool Haus to the Horseshoe. He’s definitely someone worth looking into more.

CMF Showcase presented by Collective Concerts @ The Horshoe Tavern

The fact that everyone at the Kool Haus only had two songs made it really easy for us to decide to go check out the Horseshoe instead. We got there just as The Zolas were finishing up and were able to grab a table. I figured it was just luck that we had got there early enough to get a decent spot with a clear vantage point to the stage (the most important thing for a shorty like me), but the venue actually remained rather empty for the extent of the night, which to me was incredibly surprising given the awesome that came pouring off that stage.

9pm – Dustin Bentall and the Smokes

Is it too cliché to say that Dustin Bentall and the Smokes were smokin’ last night? Donning a black cowboy hat “in honour of Stompin’ Tom”, Dustin Bentall took the stage to belt out some rockin’ country tunes. 

While it’s hard to completely embrace a similar sound after seeing Daniel Romano the other night, at least Dustin Bentall had a full set of his own tunes and gave us an in depth taste of what it is he has to offer. They started the night off on the right foot and I immediately knew we made the right choice in leaving the Kool Haus.

10pm – Young Rival
Young Rival sounds like they would have a good sound, but for whatever reason, their set sounded a bit muddy and mushed together to me. I didn’t feel like anything really stood out or grabbed my attention, which is a shame because I have been reading some hype about them. There didn’t seem to be a lot of energy or interaction, but it still seems like there is potential for something bigger and more entertaining. 

11pm – Savages
Another band I’ve been reading a lot about and they did not disappoint. While I don’t really understand why a band from the UK is part of Canadian Music Week, I’m glad they made the trek to Canada for the first time and I’m even gladder that I was there to see them.

Going back to my never ending search for awesome female rockers, these ladies are more aggressive and musically solid than any of the bands we have seen this far during CMW. With a kind of psychedelic rock sound, they get straight to the point and absolutely rocked and really blew us away. I need to know more about them, I need to hear more from them.

12pm – Limblifter

The 90s are back in full swing, you’re seeing the rebirth of the times in music and fashion all over these days. So how fitting and exciting is it that Limblifter are back on the scene? 

With an interchanging roster of Canadian musicians, founder Ryan Dhale has been able to keep the band alive for all these years.

The Horseshoe gig is one of a few shows Limblifter is doing in Canada, making it a special opportunity for everyone who was around to see them. Debuting a few new tunes, Dhale threw longtime fans a few bones as they launched into old favourites like Tinfoil and Ariel vs Lotus to close the set.

Despite all the years that have passed, Limblifter were just as tight, just as talented and just as awesome as they were in the 90s. 

As I said, this was definitely worth missing Metric for.

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