Photographs by Katrina Wong Shue
Wednesday night’s edition of Canadian Music Week brought pop-punk legends and alternative rock newcomers together to The Danforth Music Hall for what would prove to be a night to remember.
I always love seeing opening acts who aren’t always well known amongst the crowd, yet they do not let it diminish their spirits. Movements who hail from Southern California, were beyond ecstatic to not only be in the infamous “six” but to be on tour with their childhood heroes Good Charlotte. With strong guitar riffs and powerful vocals, I was entranced for their entire set. Lead singer Patrick Miranda told everyone that if they liked what they heard they could find their music on iTunes and Spotify, or they could pirate it. That statement really generated a good laugh from everyone. They closed out their set with their lead single “Kept” from their debut EP Outgrown Things. I would definitely keep an eye out for this band as they join the Vans Warped Tour this summer.
If you ever wondered about what the love child between The Rolling Stones and My Chemical Romance would be, the answer is Palaye Royale. The self-described fashion art rock band from Las Vegas was really really impressive. Fashion art rock is a genre of music we really don’t get to see in North America, so it definitely peaked the interest of concertgoers. Everyone jumped on board in the middle of the set when they covered My Chemical Romance’s “Teenagers”. It was a pretty special night for the brothers as their mother was in the audience to see them perform. Although they grew up in Vegas, they were actually born in Toronto so the night was extra special. Lead singer Remington Leith had impeccable stage presence. Between standing on the barrier between the fans and the stage or laying down to sing upside down. For a band that just released their debut album Boom Boom Room last year they certainly emitted an energy that you could soak up.
After two very exciting opening acts, you could feel the Danforth Music Hall start to buzz with excitement, as more and more fans started to file in for the main event. The next band to take the stage was Silverstein, the Burlington based band set the stage on fire as soon as lead singer Shane Told took to the microphone. Fans immediately began to mosh and to crowd surf, which also brought a mixture of delight and annoyance. The band was absolutely delighted to see everyone having the time of their lives. However I could see the tension between the fans that wanted to mosh and the fans that did not, if you’re at a punk-rock show you should not expect anything less. Silverstein made sure to pull out all the hits from their seventeen-year repertoire including: “Smile In Your Sleep” and “Still Dreaming”. They closed out their set with “My Heroine”, which proved to be a crowd favourite. It was truly amazing to see this legendary Canadian band during Canadian Music Week.
There was a forty-minute gap between Silverstein and Good Charlotte. Enough time to stream the Leafs game on your phone, get a drink or to just prepare yourself emotionally for what was about to come. It’s been quite a long time since Good Charlotte was last in Toronto, so the enthusiasm for their return was overwhelming. The band took the stage with “The Anthem”, “The Story of My Old Man” and “My Bloody Valentine”, which really set things up for how spectacular the night was going to be. The fans of the sold-out show were singing at the top of their lungs from the get-go. For most of us, this was our first Good Charlotte show. Anytime you see a band that has as much history and influence on your life as Good Charlotte does you lose yourself in the moment and forget what’s going on outside. Joel Madden made a speech to the fans saying that that’s all they ever wanted to do was to make music that made you forget about all the bad shit that was happening. He believes that the world will get better because of how good the fans are to not only each other but also everyone they encounter.
Like everyone else that night Good Charlotte was so happy to be in Toronto. The city held such a special place in their hearts that they were ready to see what the fans were made of. Benji told fans that he had bet with Joel that Toronto fans were loyal from the beginning. To test his theory he began playing the intro to “Motivation Proclamation” from their debut album that came out in 2000. I’ll never forget the expressions on the bands faces when the crowd sang the lyrics back to them with so much heart and soul.
You know you never forget the first song that helped you through some of the darkest times. I remember where I was and what I was feeling the first time I heard “Hold On”. I remember seeing the music video for the first time not long after and crying. To this day I still think about how many lives were probably saved from this one song, and singing this song with hundreds of other people word for word is something that I will never ever forget.
The Madden Brothers made sure to thank every single person for listening to their music, whether they discovered them a week ago or seventeen years ago. Since their return to music they have become independent, so fan support means everything. They also stated that this was by far one of their favourite shows of not only the tour but also of their careers. Although they were stage for about two hours, I swear the night came to a close so quickly and nobody was prepared to say goodbye. To close out the show Good Charlotte made sure to continue to pull out all the stops with: “Dance Floor Anthem”, “I Just Wanna Live”, and “Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous”.
Everyone in the Danforth Music Hall could have stood for another 2 hours just watching Good Charlotte perform. Walking out of the venue the chatter about what just happened was electric. The show definitely set the tone for what Canadian Music Week is all about.