Concerts

CMW Review: The Wedding Present, April 19, Horseshoe Tavern

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“We are the semi-legendary Wedding Present.”

With that bit of tongue in cheek, self-deprecating stage banter, David Gedge introduced himself and his band to the crowd at the Horseshoe. Not that they really needed any introduction – this looked to be a crowd of longtime Wedding Present devotees who would probably argue with Gedge on the “semi-legendary” label.

After opening the set with the glockenspiel-ified “Unthinking,” the band played a typically rocking set highlighted by Gedge’s humorous stage banter. While they played a selection of tracks from throughout their career, the set focused largely on the band’s latest, Going Going …, which Gedge referred to as “our frankly groundbreaking new album.” “I’m sure you’ve all got a copy,” he added, but just in case we didn’t, he made sure to point us all in the direction of the merch table. He’s very thoughtful like that.

One of the highlights of the night was “Rachel,” a new track that Gedge described cheekily as the best pop song we would hear all year before amending that to the best we’d hear all decade. While that may be laying it on a bit thick, it is quite a catchy track. Give it a listen and judge for yourself:

CMW Review: Zoobombs, April 18, Silver Dollar

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The Silver Dollar will be closing at the end of this month, making this weeks round of CMW shows one of the last gasps of the storied Toronto venue. It’s a sad moment for Toronto’s music scene and fittingly, Zoobombs singer Don Matsuo was getting a bit emotional over the impending closure.

Addressing the crowd a few songs into their set, he praised the venue and it’s booker Dan Burke and explained how sad he was that the Silver Dollar is closing, Describing the venue as kind of like home, he added that the band hoped to find a new home in Toronto in the future. Rather than mourning the loss of the venue too much though, Zoobombs were there to make sure we enjoy it while it lasts. 

Sure, the loss of the Dollar is sad, but with a high energy show that had a certain manic element to it at times, Zoobombs were determined to make the night a celebration.

Concert Review: Crash Vegas, April 13, Danforth Music Hall

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Forming in the late 1980s, Crash Vegas made a name for themselves in the Toronto scene, releasing three albums before disbanding in 1996. Since then, frontwoman Michelle McAdorey has released several solo albums while guitarist Colin Cripps has been a member of Blue Rodeo for a few years now, but the band is now back together. Recently reunited around the reissue of their 1990 debut album Red Earth, they took to the stage at the Danforth Music Hall for their first Toronto show in over 20 years after playing a show in Waterloo a couple of days before. And while it’s certainly been awhile, Crash Vegas definitely didn’t sound out of practice as they ran through a set that focused on songs off of Red Earth along with a few others from throughout their career as well as a couple of songs from McAdorey’s latest solo effort, Into Her Future.

Cripps, McAdorey and original drummer Ambrose Pottie were joined for the reunion shows by Anna Ruddick on bass and Julie Fader on keyboards. In addition to keyboards, Fader added beautiful harmonies throughout the night, most memorably on set closer “You And Me.” Playing as if no time had passed, the band sounded great on old numbers such as “Inside Out,” their cover of Neil Young’s “Pocahontas,” and the highlight of the evening, “Smoke,” which Cripps referred to as their torch song.

It’s not clear whether Crash Vegas has any plans for the future beyond a handful of reunion shows, but it’s nice to have them back, even if just for a little while.

CMW 2017 Preview

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Canadian Music Week is coming up next week. From April 18 – 23, clubs across the city will be filled by acts from across Canada and various other places and if for some reason you’re filled with indecision and unable to make your own choices, we here at Panic Manual have you covered with a selection of some of our top picks.

April 18
Not a whole lot going on for the first night, but the best bet is The Zoobombs at the Silver Dollar. Festival favourites, they always put on a fun show. Or you could also go see Papa Roach at the Danforth Music Hall as a … last resort.

April 19
The Wedding Present play the Horseshoe Tavern in support of their latest,Going, Going … along with Colleen Green, while the evocatively named The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit tour features Dune Rats, Repartee, Surf Dads, and Dead Love and will hopefully not be bullshit.

April 20
If you’re looking to see a few good bands without spending much money, Red Bull Sound Select presents Nyssa, Frigs, She-Devils and Belle Game at Costume House for only 3 buck with an RSVP. Other solid options for Thursday night include Sebadoh, Charlotte Day Wilson, Tanya Tagaq, Japanese Breakfast (starting the first night of a three night run at the Silver Dollar), and the Bonsound showcase.

April 21
A lot of good stuff happening tonight, including Greys, Japanese Breakfast, The Dandy Warhols, and Julia Jacklin (who will also be playing an instore at Soundscapes on Saturday for Record Store Day).

April 22
Buzz Records, home of some of the best bands in Toronto these days, sets up camp at Lee’s Palace for the night with a lineup featuring Pony, Twist, Vallens, Casper Skulls, and Weaves. The Garrison also has a solid lineup of Toronto bands, with Weight, Eyeballs, Teenanger, Beliefs, and HSY (presented by BUNZ for some reason – can you trade stuff to get tickets for this show?)

April 23
There’s only two acts listed for this night – Fred Penner and Explosions In The Sky. Sure, EITS probably won’t play “The Cat Came Back,” but they always put on an epic show.

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