CMW 2013 Day 1: The Schomberg Fair, Alright Alright
As you know, this ain’t me and Genny’s first rodeo. I wouldn’t say we’re veterans who’ve survived our fair share of festivals, but we’re definitely not rookies. With hundreds of bands playing a festival such as this, it’s hard to get around to everything you want to see. I only got to see 2 out of my 5 must-sees, and Genny got to…well, none of her must-sees. How did that happen? My bad? Anyhow, here’s a taste of what we managed to get to!
Wednesday, March 20th
Schomberg Fair @ The Supermarket
This trio does not shy away from a showmanship challenge. Yes they are bluegrass, some may even say they’re flat-out country, but with the use of wah/distorted muff pedals on bass, an echo effect on guitar to fill out the sound, and if that wasn’t enough drums that were dripping with heavy fills, they bring a refreshing rock element to the style. Baritone vocals aren’t something you hear out there these days, so that was a tad jarring at first, but man, it worked. Sadly, they were lacking variety in their set, but I could tell they were trying to be experimental with their overall instrumental style. Each member sang which brought all the layers of this style into play. Turns out, I love the use of banjo. Who knew. It was a risky play; replacing the only guitar with a banjo leaving the bass to dominate the lead melody but they kicked ass at it.
Alright Alright @ The Annex Live
These guys were on my must-see list this year. I love their tunes; they’re catchy and filled with hook after hook after hook. Here’s the thing though; their performance was lacking confidence. The tunes carry a lot of energy and could get a crowd moving…if the venue would allocate it – sadly the venue had a strange layout, literally putting barriers and obstacles between the band and the crowd. That being said though, having played a few shows myself over the years, I know how hard it can be to put your best foot forward when you can’t tell what the crowd is feeling; Toronto is notorious for it’s lackluster crowds. The awkward layout of the place didn’t help. The music is good, the talent is strong, they just need to find their footing to give the tunes the swagger they deserve. These guys need a crowd up front, dancing – I feel that that could coax out some gusto!