Canadian Music Week – Part Four

Final night of our Canadian sojourn...

Saturday had arrived and I couldn’t believe I was still alive and functioning like a normal human being.

I was exhausted physically and mentally and somehow woke up at 7:30am to be at work for 8:30. At work I was a mess, constantly dropping things, knocking things over, slurring words… it was getting intense. I was off at 5 and had to rush over to a classy part of town for an industry showcase. This night ended up being just as fun as my other nights out at CMW, yet musically weak.

…it was getting intense

A new band signed by the label I work for, Wind-Up Records, called Thriving Ivory, were in town for their Canadian debut. I mingled with the kind and also exhausted industry folks and became wary of the open bar. Drinking and exhaustion don’t mix well. The band played am energetic set of generic pop rock to an audience that half enjoyed them and half didn’t. I was somewhere in between the two. Their performance was tight and flawless but their radio ready anthems simply aren’t my style. The band is clearly bound for mainsteam success. Vocalist Clayton Stroope will have girls hanging off of him in no time. His vocals were the most unique part of the band as he wailed and yelped like a young Bono.

Next we now huddled the tipsy tastemakers into a limo bus to head down the street to see another Wind-Up Artist, Finger Eleven play at the legendary Massey Hall. Finger Eleven had a huge 2007 with their album hitting platinum, being nominated for three Junos, and having three singles go number 1 on the chart. They started this year off with a performance at once of Canada’s most famous venues for CMW. When we arrived at our seats there was a bit of a brawl going down. The 40 year old man in front of us was yelling back and forth with a 25 year old girl about how she kicked the back of his seat. It became apparent that a rock band like Finger Eleven has fans that don’t do well in a nice soft seated concert hall. It didn’t stop the band from playing with enough energy to bring the humongous venue down. Playing all their radio hits from past albums, the band jumped around and really proved themselves worthy of playing at such an honarouble venue. Finger Eleven are known at the Canadian band that could. They grew up in a small town outside of Toronto; Burlington, Ontario and were first called the Rainbow Butt Monkeys. Now they play sold out shows across the country and every mainstream music loving Canadian feels proud, as if they were each there when the band was nobody. It’s a neat fan base they have and it seems to somehow tie this great big country together.

I had plans to go see my hometown friends and one of my favourite bands, Fox Jaws, at Rancho Relaxo after I was done at Massey Hall but I was overcome with exhaustion and couldn’t possibly push myself any farther. I called a friend who lived near by and explained that I needed to come over and crash on her couch immediately. So I did.

CMW was finished and I was enjoying the deepest of sleep.

…seems to somehow tie this great big country together

Sunday night came and I had plans to attend a CMW afterparty a friend was playing with a great country folk rock band The Schomberg Fair, but it would take more than one night of deep sleep for me to recover from such an eventful week. So I unfortunately bailed on that as well and opted to stay home with my roommates, order pizza, watch a cheesy movie, and fall asleep at 10 o clock.

All in all I couldn’t be happier with my CMW experience. Although hectic and stressful it was, I saw enough great music to last me the rest of the year and was so proud of Canadian talent I will never need another reason to love my country again!

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