Concert Reviews

Andy Kim Rocks Canada Day in the Beach

Andy Kim

Story by Natasha Slinko
Photo Credits by Natasha Slinko

Once again Andy Kim graced the stage at Woodbine Park in the Beach for the Red, White & Vinyl Festival, sponsored by Vinyl 95.3 and Kim absolutely wowed the crowds as he rocked the house for the Canada Day Celebration on July 1st. Everybody came out, over 200,000 strong, with umbrellas, chairs, coolers, sunscreen and kids in tow, to come and listen to their rock idols with a line-up of Dan Hill, Alannah Myles, Brass Transit, LightHouse and of course, the amazing Andy Kim.

I was able to catch Andy Kim's segment and what a show he put on. A true entertainer of the finest calibre, Kim knows how to connect with his audience on every level. At one point he invited anyone who could climb the barricade fencing to come and dance on stage - and they climbed over to the utter dismay of the security guards. Wee girls waving Canadian flags in honour of our special day, big burly men dancing to the beat, and women just dancing up a storm to "Sugar, Sugar." To the delight of his fans, Kim named his dancers His "Archies." Everyone was absolutely thrilled and beaming as they had their moment with Kim.

We Are Devo: Rocks NXNE

Devo 9

By Bill Delingat

Who can forget the “flower pot men” first sighted in the 80’s, well actually they were a group of students from Akron ,OHIO and they weren’t flower pots on the heads but “Devo Energy Domes” which, still today along with their new age sneakers, are still a big part of their merchandise.

Devo originally formed in 1973 and by 1980 had a hit with the single "Whip It’, and has maintained a cult following throughout its existence. Their style, a Sci - Fi, industrial art rock gave us the robotic musical look at their future.  The name "Devo" comes from their concept of de-evolution - the idea that instead of continuing to evolve, mankind has actually begun to regress, as evidenced by the dysfunction and herd mentality of American society.

Devo caught the attention of David Bowie, who loved the group and secured a record contract for them with Warner Brothers. Brian Eno, of Roxy Music Fame, produced their hit album “Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!”.  That spawned remixes of hits like Mongoloid and the Stones “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” and then the ional exposure with an appearance on Saturday Night Live, only a week  after the Rolling Stones, with Devo  performing "Satisfaction" and "Jocko Homo."

With a new CD released in 2010 “Something for everybody”, Devo is back out on the road and made a stop in Toronto at Dundas Square on June 18th for NXNE.

Canadian Music Fest 2011 Roundup

Crooked Valentine's Lindsay Robin.

Story:Lenny Stoute


(Photo at right: Crooked Valentine's Lindsay Robin.)

This year’s Canadian Music week got off to a hilarious start featuring a program on the cover of which appeared three music stars, exactly none of them Canadian. Way to show the flag y’all. Or maybe it was just the Canadian Music Biz having a sly laugh at itself. And instantly elevating that program to collectors’ item status.

Down on the street and in muggy club after club, this was the year Big Geetar Rock came back with a six-string vengeance.

Representing the more acoustic end of the stick, Edmonton’s The Wheat Pool offered up prairie folk rock without a hint of irony. The crowd at The Hard Luck ate up their shtick of the two brothers Angus trading lead vocals and bass riffs enough to indulge the often overlong and earnest guitar solos. There were enough decent tunes, including ‘This Is It’ and ‘Lefty’ to keep the crowdlet’s attention for the most part. Dudes are not without a pointed sense of humor, naming their album Hauntario as an acknowledgement of the province's looming presence on the Canuck music scene.


Great Canadian Music of The 80’s

blue peter

Various Artists

 The Horseshoe


(Photo at right: Chris Wardman and Paul Humphrey of Blue Peter - photo by Alison Wardman)

They came for the music and stayed for the sauna. Acid-washed cheek by spiky haired jowl, the second in the Juno-presented Great Canadian Music series of concerts played out to a packed’n’sticky house.

Full disclosure, the show was more of a Toronto thing than a Canadian thing, what with such as Corey Hart, Men Without Hats and the entire Western scene nowhere to be seen.

Were you an alien just dropped in for the gig, you could be forgiven for thinking there were no female musicians in the 80’s, as that’s how many were on the bill, with the notable exception of The Spoons’ Sandy Horne. And no, Emm Gryner, who appeared with Blue Peter doesn’t count. How come no Lee Aaron, no Alannah Myles, Sass Jordan? 


Iggy Pop at Dundas Square

Iggy Pop 1

What was once old is new again

By Bill Delingat
It was some 40 years ago when the phone rang and the agent said, “how would you guys like to open up for the Stooges?” the reply was “Iggy and the Stooges, you got to be kidding?” Well they weren’t and here we were off to Guelph University, a hard rock quartet from Toronto called “Draco” on a cold winter evening flipping out that not only would we be some of the first this side of the border to hear the notorious Stooges, but actually open up for them. The press was full of stories of self mutilation and stage diving of the front man that called himself “Iggy Pop” and we couldn’t wait to meet and talk to him; well that didn’t really happen. We arrived for sound check at one of the University’s Convocation halls somewhere on the fringe of the campus with wall to wall carpeting and a stage placed at one end. Back in the make shift green room we were told that the “Stooges” had arrived as there was speculation they may be a “no show” and we would be sharing the change room with them. The band members were all very friendly and we were swapping ideas on what kind of guitar strings do you use and what kind of amp etc. but no Iggy. In fact he was there but in another persona, James Newell Osterberg, Jr. born April 21, 1947 a shy young guy who peered in every now and then and we assumed was the roadie or techie and it wasn’t until he donned the drummers belt with a huge buckle that the metamorphosis that began “Iggy Pop” was in the house.


Goodo Live

By Bill Delingat

When the hit musical “Rock of Ages” was scheduled to come to Toronto, someone should have thought of a production of “GODDO”. With the monolithic backdrop and all the lights a blazing this was as much of a theatrical setting that any theatre goers would pay for and on top of it all, this was the real deal. In its own way, it was scripted, as the stage was set for the 35th reunion of the power chord heavy metal trio that gave us hard edge tunes like “Pretty Bad Boy, “Under my Hat”, “So Walk On”,” Sweet Thing” and many more, joined together for a concert and film shoot for a soon to be released TV show and DVD documentary appropriately named “IN GODDO WE TRUST”.

Irene Atman in Concert

Irene Atman
By Bill McDonald

While not yet a well known entity in the local Toronto scene, jazz vocalist Irene Atman made a substantial stride in that direction with her concert last Friday evening at the Jane Mallett Theatre.

Born in Toronto, Atman was influenced very early, listening to her father’s old records stored in a box in the fruit cellar. “Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Doris Day -all of the greats. I just loved them”.

Her professional career began at 19, while studying history at the University of Toronto. During that time, Atman sang with the Stan Hiltz Orchestra, recorded with the Boss Brass, and performed with Tony Bennett. She also performed with local stalwarts Guido Basso, Dave Young, Terry Clarke, and Peter Appleyard.

In 2008, she focussed on promoting her self-titled debut CD release and toured Canada and the United States. Along the way, she also made stops in Australia and Japan.

In 2009, Atman relocated to New York City to record her second CD, “New York Rendezvous”. On this recording she is backed by noted NYC musicians Frank Kimbrough (piano), Jay Anderson (bass), Matt Wilson (drums), and Joel Frahm (tenor and soprano saxophones).
In this homecoming concert, she was accompanied by Canadian A-List musicians, Dave Young on bass, Guido Basso on horn (both Order of Canada recipients), Robbi Botos on piano, Rob Piltch on guitar, and Ethan Ardelli on drums.

Kenny MacLean Releases CD – Completely.

Platinum Blonde

By Bill Delingat

Thursday April 8th marked the long awaited release of the late Kenny MacLean’s CD “Completely” at the Mod Club in Toronto. MacLean, best known as the bass player, singer and writer for Platinum Blonde “ who were inducted into the Canadian Broadcasters Hall of Fame at this year’s Canadian Music Week, passed away on November 24, 2008 three days after he played his last show at the Mod Club. Mclean had featured singles from his than unfinished new C.D. at the event.

“I miss him so much. We decided, because of Kenny, that we would get back together. It was great to play together the other night. We wish Kenny was there.” – Mark Holmes, March 12, 2010, speaking at the Royal York Hotel Awards ceremony about their Hall of Fame performance. Mark would also be performing Kenny’s song “Don’t Look Back” at the C.D. release night.

Younger Crowd Drawn to Symphony Concerts

Nova Scotia Sypmhony


Thursday night in the Dunn Theatre, Symphony Nova Scotia found the audience it has been longing to find. For the first time in years white hair was outnumbered by dark as the orchestra played a program of entirely new Canadian music for the opening concert of the Canadian New Music Network’s Forum 2010.

The hall was packed.

Following the last work on the program, Dalhousie composition professor Jerome Blais’s setting of a Yiddish folk tune (Dremlen Feigl oyf di tsvaygn), the audience gave a standing ovation. It was probably as much for conductor Bernard Gueller and Symphony Nova Scotia as for Blais’s powerful music and the other five composers on the program.

Blue Tattoo at the Black Swan, October 10, 2009 Toronto

Blue Tattoo

Reviewed by Sandy Graham

When you first see Joe Mavety off stage, you think what a sweet looking man, but rock guitar star? Doubtful.

The second he straps on his Firebird Gibson guitar he is transformed into guitar guru before your very eyes (and ears).

Starting off his concert at the legendary Black Swan, Mavety says “let’s keep it mellow for a little while.” and lulls the audience into a soft jazz instrumental that is comforting to listen to and all about the music. He then plays ‘Broken English’, the song that was a hit for Marianne Faithfull and co written by Mavety in 1979, when Mavety was her guitarist and musical director touring Great Britain.

His choice of material is brilliant, taking his fans to musical heights with Dylan’s wistful ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’, a song my Cashbox colleague Kathy Hahn (in attendance as well) thought should be re-released again immediately for commercial airplay.

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