Toronto – My Canadian Music Week experience was a short but impressive one – it started off with an excellent show Wednesday night at Rancho Relaxo and finished with a wonderful night of music at Lee’s that highlights some of the best that Canada’s music scene had to offer. Let’s take a look at some of the acts that was at Lee’s Palace Thursday night.
Miracle Fortress is an electro dance band from Montreal that I was previously unacquainted with. After their disco night sounds laser show on Thursday, they will definitely be an act I will now follow. Taking the stage shortly after 9:30 with a lasers, a guitar, electro things and a drummer. Graham Van Pelt revealed all new material to the crowd in near black lighting with the exception of a few lights which seemed to beam directly into my eyes. The dark atmosphere only helped with the night club experience that the new Miracle Fortress material was about. Throbbing beats melded well with Van Pelt’s singing and guitar and reminded me a bit of early Junior Boys stuff, mixed with ecstasy. A pleasant surprise to start off the night.
Next up on the bill was Winnepeg’s Imaginary Cities, a band that was recently announced as the opening act for the Pixie’s Doolittle tour, which has to be exciting. Maybe it was that news, or maybe it’s because they weren’t in Winnipeg, but Imaginary Cities clearly take home the award for most fun on stage. Consisting of singer Marti Sarbit, multi-instrumentalist Rusty Matyas and a backing band, the group played a set of fun, catchy r&b/soul tracks off their recent release Temporary Resident. I really enjoyed their set – Marti’s voice was amazing and her enthusiasm on stage was contagious. Definitely another act that I wish to look into more when time permits.
Lastly, and the primary reason I found myself at Lee’s on Thursday night was another Montreal band, the new Young Galaxy. The band has been making huge waves with their new album, Shapeshifting. The third album from the band, Shapeshifting has been receiving positive reception everywhere. Much has been made about the new sound of the band and even Stephen Ramsay mentioned something about the new version when they took the stage. Call it a reset. Stephen, a very pregnant Catherine McCandless and the rest of the band played a sterling set of tracks off the new record and proved what we thought all along – this new version of Young Galaxy is awesome. Full of soaring synth lines, catchy melodies and strong guitar work tracks like Cover Your Tracks, Peripheral Visionaries and We Have Everything came off even better then they sounded on album, a difficult task to accomplish. Overall, an impressive act ro round out an impressive night.