Music in 2017

said the whale

2017 was a fun year for me for attending concerts.  As you know I’m not much for words so here’s a quick re-cap:

The first concert of the year was The Sadies opening for Blue Rodeo at Oshawa’s Tribute Communities Centre. It’s a nice little venue that we’d visit again later in the year.

The last show of 2017 was Teen Ravine opening for July Talk.

This was our second time seeing July Talk. We saw them earlier in 2017 at Budweiser Stage during the summer in support of Arkells.

Also on that ticket was Said The Whale and Mondo Cozmo. Kahzmir and I saw Said The Whale again in Scarborough. Along with less than a couple dozen others braving a summer shower.

The smallest venue we visited was a couple of local community centres in Scarborough as part of SoFar Toronto (Scarborough). We saw a bunch of acts over 3 different concerts including the Saxaphone Brothers and Renee The Voice.

Sofar Toronto #music #weekend #indie #sofarscarborough #sofar #sofartoronto

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The largest venue was the SkyDome (aka Rogers Centre) were we saw the Lumineers open for U2’s The Joshua Tree tour.

Sunday Bloody Sunday #joshuatreetour2017 #Toronto

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Favourite venue was the Horseshoe Tavern. Finally saw a show  there. The James Clark Institute opened for Pursuit Of Happiness. Yes, I’m an adult now!

I went to NYC in September 2017. Besides seeing almost every taping of the New York late night talk shows I also visited the legendary Apollo theatre in Harlem. And this was during the famous Amateur Night where we witnessed more almost a dozen musical acts including the famous house band.


We also saw some classic acts such as Pink Floyd’s Rogers Waters and the return of Guns N’ Roses!


Throughout the year we also saw Neil Haden perform at least three times. Twice with his band, Two Left Feet and once at his Uncle Neil and Friends Christmas Toy Concert.

The Bach Children’s Chorus and Youth Choir also played multiple times during 2017. We saw them three times last year. It’s especially fun when our son, Kahzmir, is part of two of these performances every year!

2017 also introduced us to Kc Roberts and the Live Revolution (a fusion of jazz/funk/rock), A-Track and Chromeo (both DJs in the EDM space – I think!)

One of the last shows of 2017 (although not the last!) was Canadian Music Hall of Fame band Barenaked Ladies with support from one of Canada’s finest songwriter’s, Ron Sexsmith!

Finally. We’re at my favourite shows of 2017. It’s a virtual tie. But there always has to be a winner.

So, in second place was:

Opening Act: Broken Social Scene (I was so happy to finally see this band live after many near misses!)

Headlining: Arcade Fire. No matter what the critics think of their latest album(s) the power group from Montreal (via Haiti and USA) knows how to put on a show with their collection of rock anthems.

The winning combo…

Opening Act: Matt Mays

Headlining: Arkells. We saw Arkells for the second time in Oshawa. The venue was smaller than when we saw them in summer. Arkells is rock and roll. They have anthems, pop songs and love songs. They are tight but play with the enthusiasm and joy of teens. This was the most fun I’ve had at a concert all year. These guys are the real deal. And while they’ve arrived they will only get bigger and better. If you can, see Arkells.

Blue Rodeo (with special guests, The Sadies)

blue rodeo

Last night Canadian iconic band, Blue Rodeo (with opening act, The Sadies) brought their 1000 Arms Tour to Oshawa’s Tribute Communities Centre.

While my favourite song is Diamond Mine (see above) I was introduced to an old song by Blue Rodeo called “Disappear”. A sad story, great lyrics and wonderful song. Here’s a fan’s recording from a gig in Toronto:

Here is last night’s setlist:

blue rodeo setlist oshawa

minaz asani with karim kanji

Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap – Concert

randy bachman

Last night, Thursday April 21 2016, we went to see Randy Bachman in concert at Toronto’s iconic Massey Hall. We attended with heavy hearts as earlier in the day saw the passing of one of the greatest musical artists of our time: Prince.

Bachman and his band played an amazing set which included a dozen #1 hits from his time with The Guess who and Bachman Turner Overdrive. He was also joined onstage by The Sadies and Terra Lightfoot.

randy bachman with terra lightfoot

randy bachman with terra lightfoot

 

randy bachman with the sadies and terra lightfoot

randy bachman with the sadies and terra lightfoot

Bachman ended the first set with The Sadies and Terra Lightfoot with an amazing rendition of Taking Care of Business.

Bachman came out for a second set and ended with an encore he dedicated to Prince. It was an amazing concert capped off with a heartfelt guitar solo to honor Prince.

The Barenaked Ladies in Ottawa

The Barenaked Ladies | Karim Kanji

Finally. I finally saw everyone’s (in Canada, at least) favourite homegrown boy band: The Barenaked Ladies. I few of us hung out in Ottawa last weekend and found out that the Ladies were playing that Saturday night. There were no tickets available so I did the next best thing. I emailed Jim Creggan (name drop!) and asked him if he had any extra tickets to sell. He didn’t.

But he invited us to come to the show and hang out backstage! Yes!

The Barenaked Ladies | Karim Kanji

View of The Barenaked Ladies from side stage!

The Barenaked Ladies Playlist | Karim Kanji

The official playlist of The Barenaked Ladies on November 20, 2016 in Ottawa!

The Barenaked Ladies

The excited gang!

 

 

U2 shows why they’re still the biggest rock bad in the world today

Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. proved that their band from Dublin, Ireland called U2 is still the biggest band in rock and roll today. And they can still deliver one of the best live performances in music.

On July 7, U2 brought their critically-acclaimed tour to Toronto’s Air Canada Centre. and for this long-time U2 fan, they did not disappoint. By the end of the concert I was dripping in sweat with a smile permanently fixed on my face. This was my fifth time seeing U2 live. I saw them at old Exhibition stadium during their Zoo TV tour, I saw them at ACC at the Vertigo Tour, and I saw them twice (or was it three times) during their last U2 360° Tour at the Skydome.

The current i+e tour stage set up was something to behold!

U2

If you’re wondering if you should catch U2 on their current iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour do yourself a favour, don’t read the critical write up by Jane Stevenson of Postmedia/Sun.

Here’s the setlist:

U2 setllist

One of my highlights, which I’m sure you’ve already read about, was when the U2 tribute band were invited on stage to play with U2. They played Desire.

Meerkat and U2

U2 have teamed up with technology giants Apple and Blackberry in the past. On this tour they have teamed up with startup, Meerkat to livestream various aspects of their tour.

U2 playing in their stage!

U2’s stage. The most interactive stage in music history. Not only did it display images but the entire band opened the second set playing inside the stage. Freaking amazing!

Thank you U2

Thanks U2!

Hey Rosetta! shines as opening act for Stars

Stars and Hey Rosetta in Toronto | Karim Kanji

This past Family Day long weekend, I attended the Stars show at Toronto’s historic Danforth Music Hall. The opening act was Hey Rosetta! from Newfoundland.

It was the first time seeing any of these bands live as well as attending the Danforth Music Hall. and I came away both pleased and excited.

Stars are a favourite local band that has been making waves both here in Canada and around the world for their fun pop anthems and energized live shows. Their 2012 album, The North, is in heavy rotation on my laptop. And they did not disappoint the thousands in attendance.

Hey Rosetta! are the “new kids on the block”. And I came away more than impressed. So much so that I truly believe that they are going to be one of the biggest indie rock bands in the world. Think the same level as Arcade Fire. They have a ways to go but there was something about them that impressed me.

Maybe it was the impressive vocal range of lead singer and songwriter, Tim Baker. I don’t want to jinx anything but he kept on reminding me of Coldplay front man, Chris Martin. Or maybe it was the durability of Romesh Thavanathan who played guitar, cello (I think) and guitar. Most likely it was that any band who has a french horn featured in multiple songs is a winner in my books.

Look out for these guys!

 

 

Concert Review: Paul Simon and Sting at the Air Canada Centre

1986’s Graceland by Paul Simon still remains one of my top ten favourite albums of all time. And Stewart Copeland’s distinctive  drumming while with The Police made it cool for kids like me to air drum.

So when my sister gave  tickets as a present for me to see Paul Simon and Sting (lead singer for The Police for those of you not at “mature” as me) this past weekend, I was more than excited.

While I thought that the sound system could have been improved upon (Neil Young’s last visit to the ACC may have blown a few fuses – I was at that concert too) the two did not disappoint the thousand in attendance.

Paul Simon and Sting
Paul Simon and Sting

Both eclectic songwriters performed hits such as Every Breath You Take, Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes, Walking On The Moon, Graceland, Roxanne, The Boxer (which was a Grade 5 favourite of mine), and You Can Call Me Al.

Watch some of my Vine’s from the concert:

https://vine.co/v/MKEEq2YP7F9

https://vine.co/v/MKEQxgYuHY6

https://vine.co/v/MKEDT7KlDFU

https://vine.co/v/MKEH9znXDYz

https://vine.co/v/MKEvW39eYxY

https://vine.co/v/MKEZXe11tKF

https://vine.co/v/MKEBrgpr5tY