Canadian Music Week was a real blast. As usual, we scheduled meetings way too early, caught a bunch of panels featuring guys in suits, got to test out the sophisticated services of UberEATS while hung-over in our Airbnb and sometimes listened to great music being played in front of us.
The POP Montreal x NeXT showcase at The Silver Dollar was obviously one of the best moments. Other than hanging with Dan Burke, highlights were sets from KROY, Nyssa, Caveboy, Blanka and Drezus, and new tracks from She-Devils.
However, we spent most of Canadian Music Week stalking Collective Soul. They were staying at the Sheraton in room 1273 so we set up a little tent on the 12th floor with a tiny stovetop and waited for their arrival. Our programming consultant Evan Dubinsky has been a Collective Soul fan since he was a pre pubescent teen just fresh from his Bar Mitzvah so being able to share a few laughs (and other things we shouldn't mention) with the band meant a lot to him. We finally met up with them on the way to their sold out gig at The Phoenix. At first, their singer Ed Roland was concerned about the giant meat cleaver Evan was holding, but eventually they hugged and we wished them luck on their big show.
It looked like the singer from Fat White Family had just returned from a dep run when he emerged onstage at Lee's Palace carrying a grey plastic bag full of beer cans, vodka and Red Bull. What ensued was equally aggressive and whimsical.
We ran into industry titan Michael Wekerle just after his opening keynote address at the beginning of the week. At first we thought he was Nicolas Cage so we asked him lots of questions about the excellent film Ghost Rider, which in hindsight seemed weird. But Michael is the consummate professional and was able to answer all our nerdy film questions. He finally revealed to us that he was, in fact, Michael Wekerle so we just asked him where the bathroom was.
The best part of the festival was seeing some of our favorite bands and overall human beings all in one city at one time. We tweeted a lot about their shows so that people would realize we’re friends with big bands. It's always important to let everyone know you are very hip and connected. We caught amazing sets by lifelong pals like Wintersleep, Dilly Dally, No Joy, White Lung, Heat, Sunflower Bean, JEFF The Brotherhood, Honduras and a few more bands we could namedrop.
CMW is a great festival because it has a great balance of industry douchebags and really good bands playing to mostly receptive audiences. Big Predictions for 2016 that blew us away: Charlie Hilton, Vallens, Vogue Dots and Acid Priest.
Catch some of these amazing acts at POP Montreal 2016 and check out the rest of our music highlights in this CMW video playlist!