>Day two, a really great Saturday evening of good friends, food and concerts.
I am completely in love with Meaghan Smith (pronounced Me-gan). She has to be one of the loveliest personalities I’ve seen on stage in a while and The Drake served as the perfect environment for her folk-jazz sound.
I first dipped into Meaghan Smith after hearing her song “A Little Love” off of her latest release The Cricket’s Orchestra (listen for Kid Koala’s contributions). You may also recognise her from the (500) Days of Summer soundtrack with a cover of the Pixies’ tune “Here Comes Your Man.” Although I don’t recall it actually being featured in the film.
Smith was absolutely charming live, she has a nice modest character that just radiates and on top of everything, she’s got a pretty lovely voice. She played just with a second guitarist which also happened to be her husband, Jason Mingo. She very cutely called him Mingo in the live show. Big fan of her outfit too, go curvy girls!
Apparently, she beat out the Hannah Georgas for the Best New Artist Juno Award. Georgas was the show’s headliner. Not bad Meaghan!
I later hoofed my way on over to the Garrison to see the instrumental band Fond of Tigers – endured two tunes and felt overwhelmed by their progressive rock sound. The first tune sounded really ornate, but tight, with no musical heart; The second was messy and unbearable. I left to eat the first burger to reach my mouth in four months at the BQM Burger Shoppe on Ossington. As predicted, it was one of the best burgers that I have ever had, hands down.
Made me way back to the Garrison in time to catch Julie Doiron. We made our way pretty close so I was able to hear the ridiculous, airy things Doiron had to say. Although not everyone is in agreement, Doiron’s presence on stage is absolutely charming. She’s a warm, flighty person in conversation, but absolutely full of energy in her performance. I have to say, Doiron is someone I really enjoy seeing live for her quirky personality. Furthermore, she plays a huge variety of songs from her large catalogue – you really never tire of one album at her live gigs.
She played a very similar set to the one I saw a month ago at the Horseshoe. She even commented about how she and her drummer – William Kidman. Kidman seems like the kind of person you’d want to be your friend for his musical ability and easy going nature. Doiron was switching and flipping this poor guy around this evening like it was nobody’s business. She introduced “I Woke Myself Up” as a song they don’t play very often and told everyone she hadn’t told William what she was going to play. He played perfectly.
She very casually added they hadn’t practiced a bunch of tunes they played. She sort of giggled afterwards for acknowledging that they had practiced, but kept her edge by stating they only practiced five tunes. It’s pretty incredible to hear how well Kidman and Doiron make music. Their a pretty bare ensemble with Julie mostly on guitars, she’s no guitar hero by any means, but she definitely makes do with what she knows. Seems like a great fit. Kidman is a very talented drummer (although playing the guitar below on that badass Neil Young cover!)
I loved hearing “The Wrong Guy” as the opener again, also off of I Woke Myself Up. It is really exciting to hear the first yelp of this song, a very odd extended singing of the word “I”. She really emphasises the personal pronouns in this song in the live show, often pulling away from the mic to sing them. It was really powerful to hear it right from the front. You’ll get what I mean after you listen to the tune, just so much energy. If you listen to the recorded version on headphones, the very first “I” flip flops from ear to ear, it gives me the chills.
She played a bit off her latest album including “Tailor,” “Heavy Snow” and “Consolation Prize.” Not too many, but I’ve been feeling her older stuff lately for all her melancholy.
She played for well over an hour, the pleasures of playing the headline slot in a festival. Closing off with a four or five song encore, of which she plucked songs from audience requests. The last song I heard her play was the very odd request of “Snow Falls in November.” She also fielded two requests for covers they’d played at their last gig in Toronto – “Love Hurts,” first recorded by the Everly Brothers in 1960 and most popular by Nazareth.
They also played a really great cover of Merle Haggard’s “Reasons to Quit” which carried some kind of significance as a shared tune between musicians. Doiron was introduced to the tune by Phosphorescent, she mentioned she felt the need to make a recording of the song to pass on.
Kidman played a cover of Neil Young’s “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” with Doiron on the drums.
I left before her last few songs because it was already 1:30am and my poor feet were aching like a pregnant woman’s would. She announced to the crowd she was going to play two more, “Dance Music” followed by “Sweeter.” I was really killing to hear “Dark Horse,” but maybe I was just spoiled to hear her play that in December of last year at the Dakota.
I got a new lens, you can probably tell. Awesome concert photos.