Toronto – When it was announced that Audio Blood Media was having a showcase at the CN Tower, everyone took notice. The showcase, featuring local bands The Balconies. Hollerado and the Meligrove Band suddenly skyrocketed to the top of everyones must-see list. With a capacity of 100 or so people, this show became super exclusive and as a result, only a selected few were allowed in (via contest).
Unfortunately, I did not win entry via contest, one particular soul came to the rescue and voila, Wednesday night, I was on the elevator going up this large phallic symbol. The showcase took place at the Horizons restaurant, which wasn’t quite the 360 place, but beggars can’t be choosers I guess.
First of all, there were hors’ duerves! As I grow older, I have come to appreciate these tiny bits of deliciousness. I was kinda expecting them, seeing how this was a classy sort of showcase. The menu consisted of spring rolls, quiche, some deep fried bacon thingy, skewers (only came around once) and bruschetta. Not a bad selection. I’ve had better, but free food is always appreciated. There was also a bread and veggie platter.
The Balconies came on promptly at 7. Their 40 minute set consisted of tracks from their debut album, I don’t think anyone expected anything else. Jacquie Neville is quite the performer. Showing all the moves of a rock star veteran, she rocked her guitar hard while wearing 3 inch heels (she later took them off after the show). She’s constantly smiling and she gives all kinds of different looks and winks when she’s delivering her vocals. Basically, she has read the book on how to become a star, and it seems like it’s a matter of time. Her little brother Stephen is a little more subdued, comfortable being in the background playing his bass while drummer Liam does his thing. They have a very interesting group dynamic, and really, just need to add Stephen’s girlfriend to the keyboards or something and they can be the new Fleetwood Mac or something. A good set.
Hollerado were up next. They are a four piece band from Manotick, Ontario and have a debut album Record in a Bag coming out this year. I liked them quite a bit as they had a nice blend of guitar driven indie pop. The band seemed to have a lot of fun on stage and with the small venue, the fun vibe permeated into crowd and everyone was having a good time. I will say one thing bad about having shows at the CN Tower – the background is just so amazing. You look a bit past the band through the windows and all you see is lake, the Toronto Islands and part of the Harbourfont. It can be quite distracting. I saw a Porter plane fly in and land on the airport and seriously, lost my attention for a good few minutes. I also stared blankly into the blue lake, and started reminiscing about my trip to Asia, where I stared blankly into the blue ocean. So it can be distracting.
Up last was the Meligrove Band. This Toronto based band has been in hiding the past few years and appear to be finally on the verge of releasing a new album. I myself, have not really heard much of the band so this was my introduction to them. I was quite surprised that their drummer – Darcy Rego, was one of the primary vocalists. It’s rare to see a drummer be a vocalist. Their set consisted of guitar driven pop music completely with gang chorus vocals. I really like gang vocals for some reason, seems to make the show more exciting.
It was a stellar night of music at the CN Tower, highlighted by the fact that you were at the CN Tower. Hopefully next year, Audio Blood will have another showcase at some wicked location, I say, a flotilla on Niagara Falls. Do it.
I’ll spare you my iphone concert photos.