Starting the night off strong, the local rockers opened the night on a electric set filled with static guitar and rumbling bass. The slow churn mixed with an overpowering wall of noise that the band does so well, translated to their stage show amazingly, creating an enveloping energy that worked perfectly for the start of the night. A much more sombre set, the lower energy worked for the early set, as people warmed up, getting into them throughout the set thanks to the sheer musicianship of the band.
Silver Love Club-
Bringing a unhinged live set, this Aussie outfit never seemed to stop moving once they hit the stage. With a set that found the stage bending from all the movement and jumping, there was a palpable excitement to their show. All the Little Richard-style shrieks coming from Mike as he fell to the floor and yelled into the microphone it was clear how the band have been able to bring their music to North America. Turning his shrieks into calls to energize the crowd, the audience interaction was refreshing to see. Given the band’s overwhelming sense of joy to be on stage, their songs about love and anti-Australian government were very easy to relate to, making the show all the more fun to watch.
Bringing their Weezer-esque grunge punk to the speakers, Danger Bees launched into an attitude-driven set with intense delivery, and thanks to the pop overtones of their music it was easy to get behind their songs, even if you didn’t know them. Revealing the transparent stories behind the songs, singer David MacMichael’s lyrics about fighting alcoholism and dealing with a concussion were all the more intriguing, especially thanks to the band’s sonic recreation of his concussion that worked startlingly well in the live setting, messing with volume and effects to create a sense of disorientation. Thanks to a guitarist who couldn’t keep still, MacMichael’s devastating delivery and a finale including some extra band members, it was top notch showcase of a band that’s grown up.
The massive time between album for Montreal’s Le Trouble seems to have paid off as their high-energy set easily won over the crowd within a few songs. Lead vocalist Michael Mooney refused to stay in one place, dancing and gesticulating wildly throughout the set, making for an entertaining visual even when his dance moves didn’t quite fit the song. Powerfully translating tracks from their new album Making Matters Worse, songs like “How Was I To Know” and “Vampires” felt like they were right off the record, and Mooney’s descent into the crowd, even shaking a couple to dance was all the more exciting to take in. Grabbing and hugging the rest of the band, Mooney’s boundless energy kicked up the rest of the band, making a feedback loop between them and the crowd that paid off as they cheered for the band through the second half of the set.
With an exceptional amount of charisma and humour Texas King was already getting cheers before they even started playing, thanks to the loyal fan-base they’ve built around Toronto. Launching into a set that leaned heavily on catchy hooks, memorable melodies and an engaging sense of fun, it was easy to grasp how so many people already loved them. Comically blaming his patch cord issues on as he called it “a bit of the weed” vocalist Jordan Macdonald, kept the crowd in the palm of his hand, laughing as much as they jumped along with him. Playing through some killer indie-rock with a touch of Southern-tones, the band had the crowd singing back constantly, made all the more easy by a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark.” Jamming together and even climbing on the drums, the band put on a set with such a joyous energy that it was hard not to join in.
The Honest Heart Collective-
Taking everything good about country music and meshing it with some great synth-infused rock The Honest Heart Collective filled Adelaide Hall with chanting and adoring fans. Playing through track’s like “I’ve Got You” and “Honest Hearts” they effortlessly had the crowd wooed, and their excited moves across the stage in every direction made it all the more exciting. Taking time to even cover The Killers’ “When You Were Young” the band managed to really prove their versatility and showcase a sonic force to be reckoned with, not being afraid to do sillier things like falsetto harmonies and more electric styles for the sake of the song. Closing on a frantic note with “Liar’s Club” bringing parts of the opening band’s on to join them the set closed with a familial sense of love and passion that felt warming. Even coming back on for a shirtless encore the finale had a second coming to end things for a memorable start to CMW.
Words and photos by Owen Maxwell