When your favourite band covers a song by another artist, in most cases, you fall in love with the track. A cover song, although not an original thought, has the chance to be completely reformed and mastered in a plethora of variations, sounds, and genres. Nothing is elusive for a cover song, and that's what real music making is all about - true creativity! Below is one of the latest cover songs that livemusicTO deems worthy of your listening pleasure. Enjoy!
Atlanta-native Tyler Carter has pumped out yet another cover song, and what better song to pick than everyone's favorite track "Mirrors" by Justin Timberlake. Carter said over twitter that the track "is more of a re-imagined cover." Though the lyrics are the song and the music is similar, Tyler Carter managed to re-master an incredible song in a completely unique way.
Disappointed over not seeing the Metz on a gorgeous Friday evening, I was uplifted by hearing news of an apparently amazing cover band that was set to play at the Phoenix Concert Theatre here in Toronto. I hadn’t heard of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, but now after witnessing them I can definitely recommend anyone to see them if they’re out drinking with their friends in the city.
For those who haven’t been to the Phoenix before I’ll give you a brief little run down. Upon arriving at the venue, there’s a tented, outdoor corridor (my guess to prevent rain and what not when lining up) that leads up to the door way. When getting in, the red velvet hallways are decorated with portraits of musicians and acts of the like that hang proudly on their walls. A bit of Randy Blythe (vocalist, Lamb of God), a little bit of Layne Staley (vocalist, Alice In Chains), and so on. Coming in to the atrium of the building, half the walls are painted black, and the other half red. Right away, two balconies are visible. The first being for spectators and the second being a balcony with red velvet upholstery with the venue’s famous Phoenix Logo patted right in the front, most likely meant to function as a control booth of some sort.
Unbeknownst to me, a band from Blackstock, Ontario called The High Top Society opened before the Penske File (also unbeknownst, I know “out of the loop,” right?). The band was able to dish out a lot of energy, and a lot of typical 90’s punk vocal snarls. It was traditional and classic, nothing original, but nothing to whine about either (considering, after all, this was a punk show). The only thing I’d take my time out to mention was the lack of attention paid towards the vocals during sound check... and it counted because I couldn’t hear a damn word they were singing. At the end of the day I don’t think a little detail like that should matter, considering (found out through twitter updates and word of mouth) how this gig was a rather last minute ordeal that was strung together by Eric Melvin (guitarist of NOFX) a few nights previous from the gig.
Further into the evening, the Penske File set the night up for Me First with high energy, screeching vocals ladled with ska-punk elements and off beat guitars. The Burlington, Ontario trio sang and screamed their hearts out into the crowd. Still stale, and what seemed to me an unimpressed crowd, the Penkse File managed to get heads, hands, and bodies moving after their bassist James Hall accompanied their drummer Alex Standen with a tribal-esque drum sequence. What I mean by “accompanied” is that James Hall grabbed a second pair of sticks and began drumming with Standen; a two minute sequence that fused into a 5 minute contemporary punk rock epic. Give these guys a shout next time they come play a show in Toronto, they won’t disappoint.
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes were the last and final act of the night. A sarcastic and sardonic band; they came up the stage and Mike Slawson (front man of the Gimmes) spoke into the mic “What’s up Toronto? I hope you don’t mind us warming up with a cover...” Quite humorous seeing as they are a cover band. After the crowd subsided their laughter: “and then will continue with some covers!” This set the mood for the rest of the night. A joking, laugh-fest, backed up by some original covers (ironic, no?). Some songs that were covered include Julie Andrews’ “My Favorite Things” and “Summertime” (not to be confused with Sublime’s “Doin’ Time”), and a song from a 1935 musical from George Gershwin, Porgy and Bess,. The only problem I found with the Gimmes was that they were involved with a lot of on stage banter, almost too much, but that’s understandable seeing as they’re a prominent cover band in today’s punk rock world.
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, the Penske File, and the High Top Society were all able to thoroughly entertain the crowd with classic tunes and good ole’ punk rock. Although the High Top Society weren’t able to get a mosh pit going like the Gimmes, they were able get some heads bobbing and the spirit flowing for what was a very positive night (even the security were jolly if that even matters). The Penske File had some raw, spitfire energy, and were able to dynamically communicate that through their originals and a very experimental drum sequence (good on ya!). After warming up the two previous bands, the Gimme Gimmes were able to get heads rolling and fists flying despite their lack of bassist Fat Mike (replaced with Eric Melvin from the same band). Unfortunately I ate too many burritos and nachos from Sneaky Dees and wasn’t able to get in the crowd for more than 3 seconds to mosh or else I would have suffered from projectile vomit. Yet, despite even that circumstance, I was able to thoroughly forget about my stomach pains and have my head groove for the night. If any of you reading this ever gets the chance, I highly recommend going to see Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, they’ll surely bring bout a good time.
With that I say, ‘till next time, Toronto.
- by Robby Pavlovsky
Burlington natives Silverstein, re-release their single Smashed into Pieces on their website in honour of the songs ten year anniversary. See why they did it, and download the song for free here.
Venue: Sound Academy
Date: May 13, 2013
Photographer: Matt Klopot
This might just be the coolest and most unexpected thing a rockstar from Toronto has ever done.
Shaun Frank, most known as for his role as lead singer in Toronto-born rock band, The Envy, has teamed up with Spanish DJ Marien Baker to create the smash hit dance track called "Unbreakable" which is currently climbing the European dance music charts... and soon the world no doubt.
Check out the video below!
Frank also appears to be a part of a new electronic outfit called PUPPETMAST3RS (see teaser below), its not clear whether he is just being featured on a track again or if he's actually involved with this project full time. No official announcement has been made as to whether or not these projects will effect The Envy... but after listening to these two stadium-worthy tracks, one can't help but imagine the bright(er?) future he might be headed towards in the electronic music world.
A fusion of talent from different genres is not only refreshing, but also very exciting -- for both the artists and fans. We look forward to watching the full story behind these endeavours unfold in the near future.
Toronto got flashed back into the early 2000s at The Opera House this past Thursday May 9th!
Well, not exactly, but they did get to take a trip down memory lane. The Opera House was jam-packed with Tyler Hilton, Teddy Geiger, and Ryan Cabrera fans as they played their first Canadian show on their 2013 tour.
Hundreds of adoring fans from preteens to post-teens came out to listen to the trio play. Doors opened at 7 p.m. but the show was scheduled to start at 8. However, it was a bit delayed and didn’t happen until 20 minutes later.
But that didn’t discourage anyone! Ryan Cabrera, now 30, came out to a cheering crowd. Unfortunately his first song did start out of tune, and after the chorus he stopped playing. “I can’t play my first song in Toronto out of tune!” he yelled out to the crowd. As he quickly started tuning his guitar, his fans chanted his name until he was done.
“Now, let’s just pretend that never happened...we are starting all over again,” said Cabrera, with a little smirk on his face. “Hello Toronto!”
He started the song from the second verse, and the rest of his act went on without any more hiccups. He even cracked a few jokes in between songs, keeping his crowd entertained with more than just his music.
You may know Cabrera as a young 20 year old with spiky blond hair. But now almost 10 years later, his hair was not spiked and a dark brown, but his voice still sounds the same. He played his older songs from his 2004 album, Take It All Away, which was his most popular one. He played On the Way Down, which was his first breakout song to hit the charts.
After playing four of his own songs, he asked the audience to pick any artist and he would play a bit of their most popular song. Through all the requests, he covered We are Young by fun, Beautiful by One Direction, and gave a little Canadian love when he played Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepson.
As Cabrera was finishing up the last song, Teddy Geiger surprised the crowd by joining him on his final song, True, which was Ryan’s top charting song.
After a brisk intermission, Geiger came onto the stage, and jumped right into one of his most popular songs, These Walls from his 2006 album, Underage Thinking. The whole venue was revved with excitement, including a few of the bartenders who were singing along with the rest of the crowd.
Geiger started off on memory lane, but quickly changed to songs that will be on his newest album, expected to come out May 14. “This is the biggest crowd we have played yet,” said Geiger. [Listen to new music from Teddy HERE]
After having a successful start to his first album in 2006, then 18 year old Teddy Geiger skyrocketed to fame, and become known as the shy American heartthrob. In 2008, he took to film in The Rocker alongside Emma Stone. Geiger admitted that this wasn’t the first time he was at this venue. “I was here when we were filming The Rocker,” said Geiger, adding that it was one of the opening scenes in the movie.
He played eight songs on his set, and brought out Tyler Hilton, the final artist, on the song For You I Will (Confidence). He kept the beat the same, however made it more acoustic and a little less rock.
As a funny gesture, and great photo op, all three artists came back on stage to cover the song Ignition by R Kelly. It seemed funny and original, but with a little digging on the inter-web, it was noted that they’ve done that at their other concerts on this tour.
Nonetheless, it was still amusing.
Eventually, it was only Tyler left on stage. You may remember him as an actor on the hit T.V. series, One Tree Hill or as Elvis Priestly in the 2005 movie Walk the Line. But Hilton has also been making music throughout the 2000s and just released a new album called Forget the Storm last year.
“We love you Chris Keller,” was yelled at some points, but Hilton didn’t seem phased by it. “I wonder if he even likes being called that,” someone yelled from the crowd.
Hilton mostly played songs from his latest album, such as Loaded Gun and Prince of Nothing Charming, which was written for his Toronto-born girlfriend who he met here eight years ago. “I feel like I’m just a filler until she meets Ryan Gosling,” joked Hilton. “But I’m O.K. with that!”
The rest of the night went smoothly and no other technical errors.
Overall, the concert was great for people who have or have not kept up with them since their glory days. All of them seemed to have got better with age, in looks and in their voices. The venue gave an intimate setting and allowed the artists to get close and personal with their fans. There was even a booth set up for people to buy Hilton’s latest album (as a CD or a record) and had Geiger T-shirts and other memorabilia as well. And although there were a few glitches at the beginning of the show, the boys did not disappoint.
--by Jennifer Barr
Paramore made their stop at the Sound Academy on May 13th to promote their new self-titled record as a trio, and they definitely did not disappoint the crowd that awaited them.
The tour only features one opening act – Kitten. The vocalist had a lot of energy throughout their performance and they were really fun to watch. The fact that they’ve only been a band a band since January 2009, they’ve come to establish themselves quite nicely and the response they received from the crowd was pretty incredible. With a fairly short set list, they pleased the fans and made their mark in Toronto.
Paramore hit the stage at 9pm, to a packed venue of fans who have been waiting patiently for them to play. They opened with “Interlude: Moving On.” This led into three songs from previous records – “Misery Business,” “For A Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic,” and “Decode.” They balanced their set list out nicely with a good mix of old songs and new. Some of the new songs they played were “Now,” “Fast In My Car,” “Anklebiters,” and “Still Into You.” During the performance of “Anklebiters,” Hayley was picking out some fans from the crowd to come up on stage with her during the song. With only two songs to go, they kicked off their final songs of their set with “That’s What You Get” and their current single “Still Into You.” With confetti and streamers flying everywhere in the crowd, they made a lasting impression on the night overall. But they weren’t finished yet – the venue filled with chants for an encore, and Paramore delivered. They ended the night with one new song, “Proof” and one old song, “Bring by Boring Brick.”
The energy Hayley Williams has on stage just shows how much she loves what she does and doesn’t let anyone doubt that for a second. She vocalized her appreciation of the fans and their support more than a few times throughout the evening.
Catch Kitten and Paramore on the remaining dates of the tour, they won’t disappoint!
--by Chelsea McCormick
Corona announced an event full of art and music called the Corona Paint Party to take place at Yonge and Dundas Square on Friday May 31, 2013 at 6PM.
Experience what it means to Live Mas Fina at one of the largest paint parties in Canada. Enter the designated paint zone in all white and get ready for the most colourful mess of your life. Use your whole body as a paintbrush and turn yourself and everyone around you into abstract works of art.
If you’re not quite brave enough to join the mayhem, there are other ways you can make your mark. Add to our giant blank canvas and chalk-drawing mural. Or get a Live Mas Fina tattoo from one of our airbrush artists.
The Corona Beer Garden will open at 6PM. Enjoy ice-cold Corona, free food and stellar live performances from an impressive lineup of Canadian acts.
4PM Registration starts
5PM Paint Party begins
6PM Beer Garden opens with free food & cash bar.
Hosted by T-RexXx: https://twitter.com/Trexxx1LOVETO
Music by DJ Hennie V: http://www.djhenniev.com/flash
Live Artist Lineup
6PM Paul Disalle & The Terminators
7PM The Elwins: http://www.theelwins.ca/
8PM Pup: http://www.puptheband.tumblr.com/
*Must be legal drinking age to participate. No purchase necessary. All participants will be required to sign a release and waiver. Entry on a first come basis, limited to venue capacity.
Their name sounds like something from Sons of Anarchy. Their songs sound like it too. Oh and their music was used in the pilot episode for Sons of Anarchy. Are you getting the picture? Burly, biker men besieged the crowd. You would think you would find a band named Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at a Dive Bar but instead this Thursday, they played a show at Kool Haus to promote their 7th album, Specter at the Feast which dropped on March 18th.
Going into this show, all I knew about opener’s thenewno2 was that frontman Dhanni Harrison, is a former Beatle’s son. Throughout most of their set, Kool Haus looked like a Middle School dance. There’s all that empty space in the gym to make you feel sufficiently awkward and supervised. Not to mention there’s that one girl who decides it’s appropriate to grind on her boyfriend-- to alternative, experimental, ambient rock! But even as the venue starts to fill up, the stage seems more crowded than the audience. With 6 members lined up in rows of two’s and what appeared to be equipment-hoarding on display, there was little room for movement; which seemed to suit the rather still band. That being said, in a band of hipster-looking, scarf-wearing, multi-instrumentalists, the most compelling performer was the animated drummer who seemed every bit out of place with his Mohawk and tattoos. Despite many interesting elements infused into the set; like on one song which featured dual-ukuleles overtop of an electronic loop, the messy experimentation simply didn’t communicate into an enjoyable live experience.
When three-piece Black Rebel Motorcycle Club took to the stage the issues of the openers weren’t present. For one, the band had more space. They also had a better setup and overall a more palpable chemistry and presence.
For those curious, they get their long-winded name from Marlon Brando’s motorcycle gang in 1953’s The Wild One. In the film, the rival gang was known as The Beetles (ironic considering the night’s opening act). BRMC is composed of drummer Leah Shapiro, bassist Robert Been (son of Michael Been of The Call) and guitarist Peter Hayes who had a brief stint in the neo-psychedelic band The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Been and Hayes share vocal duties. Each frontman has their own distinctive style; Peter Hayes provides a croaky, blurred psychedelic croon whereas Robert Been offers more of a hoarse and conventional tenor for rock.
The set opened with a cover of The Call’s 1989 hit “Let the Day Begin”. The song is played frequently live as homage to the late Michael Been who suffered a fatal heart attack while working as a sound engineer at a BRMC show in 2010.
At times, the band draws from country and folk influences but they are also apt to incorporating blues licks and elements of Garage rock alongside the disarray and duration of noise rock. Truthfully however, the band often seems to exude a blatant fondness for traditional rock. Due to this transferrable affection, classic rock-tinged numbers: “Beat the Devil’s Tattoo”, “Conscience Killer”, “Ain’t No Easy Way” and Specter at The Feast’s “Rival” proved to be the night’s highlights. The accompanying light show was impressive and notable to say the least. During breakdowns, the lights chaotically flickered in epileptic flashes on cue as the crowd pulsated with a lively energy
However, by mid-set, Hayes and Been both played back-to-back solo acoustic numbers which put somewhat of a damper on the high-octane set. Spirits were once again revitalized when Hayes instructed the crowd to move in past the barriers, saying “This has been bothering me all night. There’s so much space between us.” A lone crowd-surfer was passed around during “Six Barrel Shotgun”. The set ended with “Spread Your Love” off of their debut album; which left the crowd chanting for more. Their pleas were met with a two song encore; ending officially with a down-tempo, softer song revealing a different side of the band.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have always had somewhat of a dark mystique about them but after seeing them live it is apparent these are musicians who care less about image and more about putting on a good show. It was not a bad way to spend a Thursday night!
--by Laura Molinaro
The garage-rocking sister act, Bleached from Los Angeles, California, made a Toronto pit stop April 25th for some vintage shopping and a gig at the Silver Dollar while touring their punk-guised pop album, Ride Your Heart. Jessica and Jennifer Calvin front the band, backed by dreamy John on drums, and tight lipped Alex on guitar (who could double as Aubrey Plaza on Parks and Rec if they ever need her). Inevitable happenings at a Bleached show are as follows: beer, dancing, good times, and tequila.
Brews Willis kicked off the brisk Thursday at the Silver Dollar. This Toronto act must soak up as much of our four months of lakeshore sun & sand as possible with their full on beach bum facade. They are not bad, as they get the proverbial (inflatable) ball rolling on the night’s themed acts, encompassing ‘fun in the sun’ rock n’ roll. Also, the lead singer has a love of Mac Demarco caps too.
Next are BB Guns, who are mad and want you to know it, but still manage to amass hit after hit of sunburned tracks that keep you grumpy all your hangover-day-long. “Thank you so much to bleached to having us on this bill!"
The aggression continues to mount with Hunters, who are epileptic with energy and bobbing pink bobs—which are much less light surf-pop of Bethany Constantino, and much more Alice Glass.
Bleached hit the stage just after midnight (Note: Jessica drinks Canadian). Getting right into it, the foursome begin with, “Looking for a Fight”. The gals are nothing short of immediate. Their energy is engaging as lead Calvin does a shimmy & shake center stage in a snug floral-print dress before getting to kool-aid jammer, “Next Stop.”
"I love this place,” says Jessica, “We played here for three night during North by North East. I think Toronto is our favorite city ever!”
“Searching Through the Past” is easily a crowd favorite, acting as a trip back to the girl’s 7” EP of the same title from 2011, and a much-welcomed inclusion on Ride Your Heart. “Waiting by the Telephone” is a bit more desperate in it’s approach to boys, but
The crowd needs no time to embrace the upbeat jams, with virtually the entire mass rocking out to the California girls’ brand of punk-pop. Maintaining the atmosphere of beer spilling frolic even into slower tempo tunes, like the ‘misery loves company’ sounds of “Dead In Your Head,” the band have a strong command of their fans.
"Can somebody get me a shot? Of whatever you want!” exclaims Jessica. This was evidently not such a great idea for the Calvins, as the next song got de-railed by some unseen force. "Sorry guys, we fucked that song up…" Some mumbling I didn’t quite hear—Did she just admit she was stoned? That I will never know, but moving onward.
Bleached thankfully recover with a terrific rendition of “Love Spells,” a song about escaping the clutches of an overpowering kind of passion. This is followed by “Outta My Mind,” another track describing our two sunshine sisters’ wit’s end attempt to gain control, this time however, escaping memories of the past that haunt us is a struggle they don’t seem equipped to win.
Speaking of haunting, the Calvins take a second to discuss some of their real life specter encounters. "We have lost so many things. We are convinced that there is a ghost haunting us and it is going to start a band”. Alex asks, “What is it called?” to which Jessica replies, "We haven't figured that out yet". Do let us know Jessica, will you?
The gals finish the night with an encore selected from the Ramones’ catalogue, reaffirming their roots while maintaining an aesthetic of a ‘punk rock Best Coast’. Here is hoping they somehow manage to ride their hearts back up to Toronto again for NXNE in June.
--by Michael Natale