Today marks the beginning of the 36th year of Canadian Music Week (CMW) and Music City North will be out and about for our MCN Night Out! Our focus for our “Must See” artists are acts that we have already seen and urge you check them out as well.
CMW is an amazing week-long celebration of music, however, the smaller venues and unsigned acts tend to get overlooked. These are the venues and artists that make up our day-to-day music scene in Toronto, so the goal should be to support these venues that keep our scene alive the entire year, not just for this one amazing week.
Over the years, MCN has booked a lot of musicians, I have gone to an immense amount of shows, but this list was easy for me to make. There are quite a few others that I would love to add, but these seven were no-brainers for me.
- Stuck on Planet Earth at Adelaide Hall on Wednesday, 10:30pm. This three-piece alt-rock band was the subject of an article that I recently wrote about their signing with anthem records. See them and you will understand why they are my number one pick and why they were signed. Talented, driven, hard-working, motivated, entertaining…all these words apply to this band. The major draw to STUCK is their music. Their lyrics are catchy, the music is addictive.
- Texas King at The Hideout on Friday or Longboat Hall on Saturday, 9pm. Truthfully, it’s been a while since I have seen this band from London, but they are one that have stuck out in my mind since the first time that I saw them. They will be a band that you can say that you saw them on a small stage one time, since they’ll be hitting a very big stage very soon. Texas King are playing Festival d’Ete in Quebec City this July, with Greta Van Fleet, Frank Turner and Foo Fighters!
- Cleopatrick at Longboat Hall on Saturday, 10pm. Again, one of those bands that you can say, HEY! I saw them in Toronto on a small stage. Cleopatrick are playing LOLLAPALOOZA! A friend of mine told me to book them a couple years ago, so I did, and it was a great decision. For a two-piece, they filled the room with such unreal sounds, it was incredible. That was just two years ago. Now, look at them!
- James Blonde at Adelaide Hall on Friday, 9:45pm. Rewind about 5 years ago, when this high-energy, incredibly enthusiastic pop-rock band from Niagara Falls, played Monday nights at Cherry Cola’s for Bob Segarini’s Bobcast. This is where I first saw the band, who were then known as XPrime. Over the years, the band has grown, matured and found their sound and a new name. This band will always be one of my favorites to see live, but I truly feel you need to go and form your own opinion. Let’s just say that when they played the Osheaga main stage a couple of summers ago, the crowd was completely into them and I shed a few proud tears for them.
- Avery Florence at Cameron House on Saturday, 11pm. Last year Avery made a request to join a music industry group that I belong to. At that time, we were putting together a showcase and event that artists had to apply for, and the deadline was to about to hit when Avery joined. I listened to her music and immediately contacted her to submit because those few seconds were all that I needed to hear. Avery has a soft, sultry, soothing voice that hugs you like a bean-bag chair made of the softest plush you could find. Once you are immersed, you not only can’t escape this cocoon, you don’t want to.
- Emily Mac at The Paddock on Tuesday, 9pm. This woman can ROCK! The hashtag #Womenwhorock, would have Emily’s face attached to it. She’s sexy, talented, soulful and will have you wanting more. Don’t miss this fierce, strong and talented woman. You will not regret it!
- Julian Taylor Band at Lee’s Palace on Thursday, 11pm. The only times that I have seen JT play, are solo performances, and those acoustic performances have left me in tears, each time. Julian has the voice and presence of a gentle angel, one that loves and invites all into his world. Guaranteed that the full rock sound is vastly different, but when an angel calls, you welcome them into your world, no matter the situation.
As I said before, there so many others that can and should be mentioned, but these are my top seven picks. Others not to miss are Royal Prospect from Sweden, SLOW from Vancouver, Alert the Medic from Halifax, The Lionyls from Ottawa, and The Alpacas from Barrie
Whoever you get out to see, please let us know who your favorites were! We would love to hear from you. Happy Canadian Music Week everyone!!
Follow us to see where we go for our #MCNNightOut on our Instagram account: @MusicCityNorth