May 7 2014 – The first of Toronto’s big music festivals kicked off on May 6th 2014. Typically the first night at Canadian Music Week is relatively slow and the mid week shows are usually the best shows to catch with less crowds and lineups. In the past T-Mak World editors have run around town like madmen in our epic quest to discover what we call #RealRock. We love many types of music but love riff fueled rock with pounding rhythms and particularly when performed by long haired dudes. Tonight we kept it low key and checked out a total of 6 bands of various musical styles. Below is a video recap of all 6 bands we saw at CMW 2014 Day 1.
Julian Taylor Band
The 8 dudes led by Julian Taylor on vocals and guitar, took us to a different direction tonight. We usually hunt down rock bands for CMW, but because Hideout is our favorite venue and T-Mak’s beloved Habs were on the TV, we started our night here. The soul funk mix had the dancefloor packed and dancing along to live music. What a fantastic sight. Infectious groove music not based on pre-looped synthesizers and autotune won us over and immediately put this band in contention for our Gig Of The Night (see below). The suits and ties seemed appropriate for the band and we highly recommend their show tonight.
Sweet guitars! Now here is a sound we love. Barbudos kicked off with some tunes that felt we were listening to a Tarantino soundtrack about a movie where Cheech is stuck in the desert trying to find his peyote stash while 3 different gangster bands are hunting him down (or something like that). Great vibe with a hard rocking sound at times and a bit more mellow at others. Fantastic set and highly entertaining band that really showed incredible talent.
Grunge from Israel – sure why not! The Bovine was rocked with a sound totally reminiscent of Seattle in the early 90’s. With intense songs and killer vocals, Stellar Lane traveled a long way to show Toronto that grunge is a universal sound that still is vibrant and alive. Excellent set and easily a band we can listen to over and over.
The Dirty Nil
A mosh pit was in effect for some of the songs during The Dirty Nil’s performance and that can immediately tell you what type of show it was. Modern style punk with three clean cut dudes is evidently popular with the younger crowd who enjoyed the rough edge of the music and vocals. Not our type of music, but the packed Tattoo proved that The Dirty Nil have a good following and all were left satisfied.
The Pick Brothers Band
Again a band with suits, our second of the night. Impressive music leaning on heavy guitar riffs. The quirky David Byrne style vocals threw us off a bit, but the audience was really into them. Sing alongs and dancing bodies spontaneously broke out and the band played up the party for their fans. The Silver Dollar was as packed as a typical Saturday night and that proved that The Pick Brothers Band have drawing power.
Easily the “biggest” band of the night, The Reason gave us a reason to stay out late and catch their set at the Tattoo Rock Parlor. Watching their set felt at times like watching 3 or 4 different bands as their musical offerings varied in sound without a consistency that might be desirable to some bands. We of course miss their hard rocking tunes and their long haired look, but then again we are just grumpy old rockers. When the band did get to their “bangers” as they called them the crowd did perk up and started rocking out. Overall a great show from incredibly talented and personable musicians which we have covered a few times before on T-Mak World.
Verdict: Every year we highlight the best experience of the night based on a variety of factors, but primarily cause they were memorable. Tonight’s T-Mak World GIG OF THE NIGHT goes to Julian Taylor Band simply for giving us a groovy good time that is outside of our typical Led Zeppelin inspired style of rock. CMW 2014 Day 1 was a great start to a festival we love!
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