The second day of CMW gave me the chance to flex some musical diversity. I started the night with hip hop, made my way to folk, and ended up with some good old punk.
After a vigorous pat down at Tattoo (seriously… security opened up my gum pack to make sure I wasn’t hiding any narcotics in between the minty freshness), I was able to catch most of 17-year-old Toronto rapper Clairmont The Second’s set. He wowed the crowd with great stage energy and a song about having a nose ring went over particularly well. As far as young artists go, he’s plenty talented – producing his own beats, to boot. Keep an eye out. He has an on-stage magnetism that’s going to carry him well.
Next up was GoldLink, the much-hyped about and fairly mysterious rapper from Washington, D.C. Apparently he wasn’t too keen on having his photo taken, but much of the media seemed to be at the show anyway. The attention is well earned: GoldLink certainly knows how to handle a microphone, getting the crowd riled up and dancing along to his fast flows. The crowd itself seemed to be made up of big hip hop heads who know their stuff – so if you missed out on GoldLink this time around, don’t sleep on him the next time he rolls into town. He certainly rapped laps around Theophilus London, who I saw at (a much busier) Tattoo earlier this year.
I made my way down Queen West to get to the Rivoli for Australia’s Stu Larsen. Neil has some photos of that set over here. The acoustic singer-songwriter is a talented man – no doubt about it – but what truly stood out was his harmonica player. Holy cow. Natsuki Kurai did things with harmonicas that I never dreamed possible. It’s a bold statement, but he could be the world’s best harmonica player. Or at least the best I’ve ever seen. Jeeze. It was a thrilling set that left everyone in the crowd beyond happy. Great stage presence from Larsen and Kurai certainly helped and the show itself felt very intimate and warm.
I walked up Spadina to get to The Silver Dollar. I was hoping to see Toronto’s MIMICO, but knew I was running late on account of Larsen’s lengthy headlining set. Thankfully there seemed to be a scheduling switch that even CMW was unaware of. Instead of MIMICO, I walked in and was instantly confused to see another band pacing the stage and the audience. Apparently this was fellow Torontonians, Surinam. While I can’t speak to their show too much, I will say they were definitely giving off an Iggy Pop vibe.
I was one of the few people who passed on METZ during the first two days of CMW. I’m kicking myself for that, but on the bright side it meant I got another fantastic night from Zoobombs (who will probably be harder to see again than METZ.) The Tokyo band once again smashed their set and everyone’s eardrums. While Saturday’s offerings were slightly more sentimental than what they had put on the table on Friday, it was still incredible and left everyone delighted. Fingers crossed they don’t break up again.
MIMICO came on next and I stuck it out for three songs of pretty dark, pulsating songs. It sounded great – from what I saw – and certainly fit the vibe of The Silver Dollar at 1:30 am on a Saturday night.
Two days down, eight to go…