CMW 08: the Indies @ the Royal York Hotel
For the last big night of Canadian Music Week, I hauled ass to the Royal York for the 8th Annual Independent Music Awards, a celebration of the spirit of independent music in Canada.
Yes, awards were handed out in every category from Favourite Metal Artist (3 Inches of Blood) to Favourite Children's Artist (The Smudge Fundaes), and there was lots of conjecture in the press pool about what it might sound like if those two acts collaborated on a few tunes.
But the real reason for me to be there was the performers, many of whom had played earlier in the week while I was taking in other artists.
I thought I'd celebrate the show with my own little ceremony: so here it is, in order of appearance, my Top Five Indie Awards Live Moments:
Due to the schedule of the awards program, they only performed two songs (as did most of the other bands), but they were both solid, even when the Ians (drummer Ian Andrew Romano and bassist Ian Daniel Kehoe) switched instruments.
Getting back together to play three songs in honour of their induction into the Indie Hall of Fame, it was clear that very little rehearsal went into this, but I didn't care, and I don't think anyone else did either. Yes, they were loose and sloppy, but they were also full of energy and had a great time, so they were in essence the epitome of what makes indie music so appealing in the first place.
To top it all off, they invited Kevin (see photo, right), the world's biggest LOTL fan up on stage to snap pictures of himself rocking out with bassist Dylan Parker and bounce around so much it looked like he was in danger of toppling the bass cabinet, I'd say the Low went out on top of the world.
There was hilarious stage banter when drummer Kurt Dahle freely admitted that he had "failed miserably" trying to play along with the drums for the band's contribution to the video game Rock Band, "Electric Version."
They finished up their set with a cover of ELO's "Don't Bring Me Down" that almost restored my faith in classic rock (almost!). As they played the last chord, Jace Lasek of the Besnard Lakes loudly proclaimed "holy fuck, that's amazing!" You can't argue with that.
Photos by Roger Cullman
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