Joel Plaskett

Concert Review: Joel Plaskett, May 23, Massey Hall

Posted on by Mark in Concerts | 7 Comments


TorontoJoel Plaskett and his band The Emergency played Massey Hall last Saturday night. It was a great show shock full of feelgood east-coast rock. The unassuming Mr. Plaskett is on tour promoting his latest album Three. He was joined on guitar by his father Bill Plaskett, as well as fellow singer/songwriters Ana Ege and Rose Cousins.

“Rock and roll’s wrapped ‘round me as tight as a noose.” – Joel Plaskett

The show started just after 8 pm and was broken up into two sets. The first was an accoustic set with Bill, Ana and Rose and prominently featured songs from Three. After a little a break, he was joined by his band The Emergency and rocked all the way to the 11 pm curfew imposed on Massey Hall. That’s nearly a solid 3 hours of music! The length of the set was as ambitious as his album, which consists of three CD’s (hence the title). It’s a good thing his music is so fun and easy to listen to.

Joel Plaskett puts on great live shows. He’s a consumate musician who knows how to play guitar and knows how to sing. In addition to his vocal prowess, Joel is a fantastic guitarist that plays with a straight-ahead blues-infused vibe that can really cook. I remember seeing him at Lee’s Palace a few years ago and was awestruck by the simple and powerful way he could rock out. This show featured a lot more of Joel the accoustic guitarist and singer/songwriter than Joel the rock guitarist. But this is consistent with his album Three which is a lot less rocky than his previous offering: aptly named Ashtray Rock.

Joel gives off such a clean-cut friendly vibe that I’m alway a little taken aback when he swears in some of his tunes.

One highlight from all this great accoustic stuff was the addition of Ana Ege and Rose Cousins.  Both are talented singer/songwriters in their own right. Adding them to the mix made the harmonies that much sweeter. Their voices really added a lot of padding to the mix and generally bumped up the atmosphere of the show in general.  Pairing Joel’s strong voice with these ladies’ harmonies was a smart move.

If there’s one thing that was a little out-of-sorts, it was the ticket price. Once the surchages are added, my tickets ended up being $50 a piece, which is a little on the pricey side. It certainly brings it home that I’m not seeing Joel in some quaint bar in Halifax, or even at Lee’s, but at Massey Hall in downtown Toronto.  Lucky for us that seeing Joel Plaskett live is such good clean fun. Joel gives off such a clean-cut friendly vibe that I’m alway a little taken aback when he swears in some of his tunes. If anything, it makes the experience that much more sincere.

Concert Review: CMW Chart Attack Showcase, March 14, Horseshoe Tavern

Posted on by guestwriter in Concerts | 1 Comment

I’m sure it’s happened to you… you open the refrigerator and get a whiff of leftovers you’ve forgotten about.  Some you lament over because the meal was delicious and you really should have done it justice by finishing it.  And others… well you wonder why you took them home anyway.  

Same goes for the Chart Attack Showcase, waaaay back on March 14 during Canadian Music Week.  As we move into summer– the season of concerts and parties, I’m duly noting some of these Chart Attack Showcase bands which will likely be featured at some festival, bar or club in the city.  To go or not to go?


Two Hours Traffic  

Two Hours Traffic

Two Hours Traffic

These PEI musicians play music that is cheerful, upbeat and catchy.  Simple melodies, riffs and choruses that will always get the crowd singing along.  This band is one to see if you want to relax and hang out with friends, have a few cold beers and have good Canadian rock to bop your head to.  Latest album, Little Jabs, was once again produced by the ever growing Canadian icon, Joel Plaskett.  They played a solid set, definitely a pleasant discovery during CMW.  Rating: 4/5 


Golden Dogs

The Golden Dogs

The Golden Dogs

Fronted by husband and wife duo, Dave Azzolini and Jessica Grassia, they played a relatively decent show in front of an audience that had waited through a gazillion band set to see them play.  Following Two Hours Traffic, their sound didn’t seem as polished or well put together.  While they played crowd pleasers such as, “Construction Worker”, I think I was satisfied after the second song.  Lost in the muddle were the catchy hooks that you pick up on in their recorded music.  Worth catching?  Yes, I think good enough that you ought to give them a try.  Rating 3.5/5 


Hexes and Ohs

Hexes and Ohs

Hexes and Ohs

With a lot of hype following this sweet heart duo now located in Montreal, their blend of rock, electro synth pop has got everyone talking.  I saw a lot of bands I wanted to see during CMW, but they were one I was really looking forward to.  Their music is cute, poppy, and on the brink of nerd-dom.  A soft spot in my heart?  Yes, I dare say it is.  I stood in front of the stage ready to dance, but instead stood baffled, lost in the sound that they were trying to reproduce from their album.  I was disappointed and shocked by their performance.  While I appreciate their music and the sound they’re going for, I can’t say they’ve made it up to quite the same level in their live shows.  At least the live show I saw.  I’m sure over time, the transition from recorded music to live stage will become more smooth and we’ll see more of the Hexes and Ohs flair that we hear in their album.  Rating 2.5/5

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