Summerworks Music Series: Closing Night Party Caps A Successful Festival

Published On September 13, 2011 | By admin | Live, Reviews

I strolled to the Summerworks Theatre Festival‘s closing party at the courtyard of the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art (MOCCA), passing a huge concert put on by the Portuguese community along the way.  It seems this city is always alive with music wherever you turn, as would be the case at the closing party.

The smell of tasty burgers being cooked by the people from the Lakeview filled the air as I entered the courtyard, I couldn’t resist and decided to acquire one; a decision I did not regret.  As I was polishing off the last bits of my burger the first act took to the tented stage, the quirky and political Betty Burke.  Lead signer Maggie MacDonald immediately set the tone. for the rest of their show would follow announcing that they too – like Heritage Canada -  would be invoking some austerity measures to cut costs; in the form of an iPod in the place of a drummer.  Clever stage banter and thought-provoking tunes filled the rest of their set, bidding the crowd adieu until next time.

The transition period for the next act gave me an opportunity to check out the PWYC exhibition at MOCCA, which was titled This is Paradise / Place as a State of Mind; a retrospective look at the artists associated with the Cameron House art-scene of the 1980′s.  The exhibit featured some works by the collective General Idea who also happen to be showing at the AGO currently.  Not a bad deal for whatever cash you have in your pocket, I suggest checking MOCCA out if you find yourself in Toronto.  It is a sure bet for a mind-expanding experience.

After getting caught-up with the art inside MOCCA, I came outside to find Graham Wright (of Tokyo Police Club) already in progress.  Backed by a solid band Wright was able to show off his song-writing skills, giving the audience a good idea of the source of those catchy tunes TPC churns out.  Wright had the audience’s heads swaying and toes tapping all the way to the end of his set.

Next up was the impressive Donlands and Mortimer, a band that looks like it has a bright future ahead of them.  They were impressive on multiple fronts on this evening in particular, not only did they get the crowd moving with their pop-ballads but they were also able to somehow fit 6 members on a tiny stage (including a trombone).  Both guitarist Carmen (who also plays in Army Girls) and drummer Steven share the vocal duties, singing some solid duets; I think this band has a future in writing musicals.  Keep an eye out for them!

Unfortunately I had to miss the closing acts Louise Burns and Whale Tooth, because I had a date to see some Beauties at the Dakota Tavern up the street.  However I’m sure they were great, as I have come to expect nothing less from the Summerworks Music Series, and the Summerworks Festival in general.  Everyone top to bottom that I dealt with who helped put the festival together were amazingly helpful, demonstrating that they were all there for the same reason: to showcase the amazing theatrical/musical talent we have here in Toronto and Canada.  I am already counting down the days until next year.

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