what's in the box toronto 2014

The top 5 acts at the Drake Hotel's Boxing Week bash

What's in the Box kicks off this Friday in Toronto on, fittingly, Boxing Day. Once you've overcome the holiday food/booze hangover, head down to the Drake Hotel for their annual boxing week mini music-fest, running over five evenings starting from December 26-30. Each line up will feature at least five bands every night, and cover for each is only 5 bucks.

Whether you're looking for indie rock or a dance party, here are my picks for What's in the Box 2014.

New Hands (Friday, December 26)
On the first night of WITB, my true love sent to me... five great bands. Smack in the middle of the pack, at 9pm, try to take in New Hands, a five piece electronic group claiming both Hamilton, Ontario and Leeds, UK as home. Before them you can hear SEX TAPE, Omhouse, and then catch River Tiber and BADLQQK afterwards.

The Meligrove Band (Saturday, December 27)
Evening number two has an eclectic combination of acts. Don't miss indie rock quartet The Meligrove Band at 10pm - they've been a group for almost two decades with a few member changes along the way. They also have an awesome video game made for mobile. If you aren't too busy playing it take some time to absorb the other bands including Lay These Knight, Seas and International Zombies of Love.

Jokers of the Scene (Sunday, December 28)
The turn up will be real on the hump day of this festival. An evening co-presented by label Neighborhood Watch and Galapagos FM features a lineup that promises to impress. Get there for the first set at 9pm to catch Jokers of the Scene, a techno duo that has been embraced by almost every walk of life in the electronic music scene. Once they're through, stick around for Bruce Trail, Galcher Lustwek, Egyptrixx, and Chicago's DJ Spinn.

Ain't No Love (Monday, December 29)
The fourth night, presented by Red Bull Sound Select, has been curated to highlight four corners of hip hop music. At 11pm check Toronto's own Ain't No Love, who will be releasing a new EP in February, which will include their new track Summa. The evening will get warmed up by DJ Nardo aka Maylee Todd and also include live sets from Dillan Ponders, grime rapper Tre Mission and Montreal-based rap collective The Posterz. You can RSVP for this night to make it $3 instead of $5.

Pet Sun (Tuesday, December 30)
WITB's last evening is presented by local label Sleepless Records (home of July Talk). Stick around until the last set of not only the night, but the entire festival, for some stoner garage madness care of Pet Sun. Before them you can hear some other talent from what is presumably a sort of Sleepless Records farm team, including STACEY, Jaunt, Sunshine & the Blue Moon, and Programm.

Photo of Ain't No Love by Dylan Leeder

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