Joel Plaskett Emergency, December 13, Horseshoe

Posted on by Wade in Concerts, Everything | 1 Comment

la de da

Toronto – Last week the Horsehoe Tavern celebrated their 60th anniversary. As part of the celebrations, The Joel Plaskett Emergemcy played 6 shows. Each night he featured songs from one of their albums. We went to the Thursday night show, which was La De Da, a Joel Plaskett solo album.

The most important thing to know about a Joel Plaskett Emergency show is that whenever he mentions Nova Scotia, you need to yell like you just shot-gunned your 9th straight can of Keiths. Even if you grew up in Kandahar City, when at a Joel Plaskett show you are allowed to act as if you just got in your first fist fight at pizza corner*.

The show started with some guy saying a little blurb about the Horseshoe and all the legendary acts that have played there. He then brought up the fact that the evening would be filled with ‘special guests’. Next, he held up a picture and announced “Here I have a freshly signed picture of Stompin’ Tom Connors, one of the legends who have graced this stage”

Freshly signed? Special guests? My friend Danielle and I looked at each other and simultaneously mouthed the words “Stompin’ Tom?”. Holy shit, Stompin’ Tom is one of the special guests?!?

Joel took the stage. I would say that La De Da is one of his less rocking/anthem albums, and the show really reflected this. I lost count how many times he started playing a song by saying “We haven’t played this one in a while”. Yah, well there is probably a reason for that Joel.

Then the conveyer belt of special guest started.

Special Guest #1 – Joels’ dad who played some guitar. It was sweet.
Special Guest #2 – The guy from Winnipeg based band Big Sugar. Mehhh.
Special Guest #3 - Gord Downie (The Tragically Hip). Kick ass. He is one sexy man. He sang ‘I Love This Town’. Then he sang some Christmas themed song which totally killed any momentum that the show had going for it.
Special Guest #4 – Danielle and I looked at each other…could it be…Stom…nope, Sarah Harmer. Still pretty awesome.
Special Guest #5 – No special guest #5. The show is over, go home.

No Stompin’ Tom. What the deuce?

Danielle put it all in perspective on our way up Spadina. “Stompin’ Tom is 71 years old. You can’t expect him to show up, unannounced in downtown Toronto at 1:00 in the morning to play one single gig”. Yah, I suppose she has a point.

4/5 – Good show Joel. Thanks for playing ‘Snowed In’. That is a funny song that could have only been written by and pulled off by an east coaster. The special guests were a nice surprise even if Stompin’ Tom wasn’t one of them. Sarah Harmer and Gord Downie are of equal sex-atudes.

*Pizza Corner – 3 different pizza restaurants at corner of Blowers and Grafton in Halifax. Good cheap pizza and donairs (Gyro-type wraps, often overflowing with meat and sauce). However, this area can descend into anarchy when the bars let out, and the restaurants often lock their bathrooms, even to customers.

Encore: Led Zeppelin

Posted on by Vik in Concerts, Everything | 1 Comment

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Vancouver (although I wish it was London), Robert Plant and company shook off the cobwebs and got the Led out in London last night. Sounds like it was an amazing show as well. Not so surprised as I had the privilege to see Plant at the Molson Amphitheatre in 2005 and the dude still had the chops to belt out ‘Way down insiiiiiiiiiide, WOMAN! you neeeeeed love’, making Zeppelins Latter Days sound much like their Early Days.

Below is a clip of ‘Kashmir’ from last nights show and a link to a page that has compiled a Whole Lotta more clips:

More clips

The Go! Team, November 1, Phoenix

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything | 1 Comment

Toronto – The Go Team. What can you say about them..really? I guess the main ingredient when going to a Go! Team concert is fun. These guys put on a really fun song. In case you don’t know who the go team is, they are a six piece band from England, consisting of two drummers, and some people who play other instruments. The lead singer is some black girl named Ninja, and they also have two japanese people in the band. I don’t know why I mentioned that. What do they sound like? Think happy, and think early 80s saturday morning cartoon theme songs. It is kind hard to describe their sound, its really a mish mash of stuff. Here’s a youtube video of their song Ladyflash:

The show was at the Phoenix, which I have probably ranted before. Actually sooner then later, I will post a ‘Toronto Concert Venue Review’ post or something. The crowd was pretty ramped up for this band, I was disappointed to find out Spiral Beach opened, since I like that band. I might have even caught them if I did not have a soccer game before hand. Funny thing, as I was lining up at the door, the girl in front of me asked the security guard why they always put the 19 and over wrist band on the right hand. He replies ‘its so if we see a wristband on the left hand, we know something fishy is going on.’ Sure enough, as I was entering the adults only section of the phoenix, there was a girl, trying to get in with the wrist band on her left hand. BUSTED. So a lesson to all you underage kids. if you are going to try to get in the drinking zone, pay attention to details.

It always amuses me when I am walking around and I see teenagers wearing like 100 dollar hoodies and 200 dollar jeans. I’m like..damn where the hell do they get that money from?

Anyways, the Go! Team came on around 10:30. Sweet. No video screen (like the show from two years ago), but it was replaced by the two drums having different colored lamps on it. The team immediately started off with some song off the first album. Man, let me tell you something. That girl Ninja can GO. I mean, she can dance for the entire hour and not shed a sweat. The entire band seemed into it, I guess it was the last show of the tour so they gave it their all. However, the star of the show was clearly this lead singer. Man she got moves, and grooves. They aint lying when they say black peeps got them rhythms.

The set consisted of songs off both the new and old albums, I would give you song titles, but you can pretty much just look up the track listings and it’ll provide the same effect. I honestly don’t think this band could put on a band show, their music is just so damn happy feely and they got that “cute” stage presence. The set ended with the double punch of LadyFlash/Huddle Formation before the encore introduced the crowd to new album tune do it right and some other song whos title escapes me.

All in all, excellent show and the crowd was really into it, which pleases me.


CD Review – Julie Doiron / Woke Myself Up (2007)

Posted on by Wade in Albums, Concerts, Everything | 1 Comment


Growing up on the east coast, Eric’s Trip (1990 – 1996) is a bit of an institution. Julie Doiron (bass, guitar, vocals) was one of the original members of this Moncton based, Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr., influenced band. I remember seeing quite a few Eric’s Trip t-shirts when I was in high school but remained unaware of their east coast/Canadian cult status at the time. Yah, the cool kids definitely knew about Eric’s Trip. I did not. They also gained some serious points for being the first Canadian band signed to Sub Pop in the early 90’s.

Eric’s Trip is Julie Doirons’ backing band on “Woke Myself Up”. After my first listen I classified this CD as a pretty good wood, wires and whisky CD with a slightly lo-fi rock feel, especially on the track Don’t Wannabe/Liked By You. The rest of the CD is pretty standard singer songwriter tracks, but lyrically the songs are different. I feel like they were written by a 30 year old woman who is still attending high school. She has all the typical high school problems with love and friends, but she faces each of them with a ‘big deal, I’m still awesome’ attitude because she has experience under her belt.

One of the reasons I picked this up was because of her Polaris Music Prize nomination earlier this year. I don’t hear anything ground breaking on this CD that would have won her this prize, but it is still worth a listen.

I also picked it up because Julie lives in Sackville, NB. For those who don’t know, Sackville is the trucker hat a la 2001 of New Brunswick. It’s a cool spot. Sackville is a very important place in New Brunswick because to most people, the letters NB simply represent the province you need to drive through to get to Halifax (or PEI).