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CMW: Saturday

15-Mar-2007 02:04 AM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
The Golden Dogs
Toronto, Ontario CMW: Saturday March 10, 2007
Photos and Review by: Pete Nema Full Photo Set (24 photos)

The Saturday of CMW had a lot of interesting shows available, and although my friend and I could've just hung out at The Horseshoe all night, we decided to get out to some other venues to see new places as well as new bands. So we started our night with The Yoko Casionos, then made our way up to Rancho Relaxo to catch The Red Light Riot, then took the scenic route back to The Horseshoe for The Golden Dogs, and finally ended up at The Boat for The Mark Inside (not officially part of CMW).

9:00 PM - The Yoko Casionos @ The Horseshoe

The Yoko Casionos is a band that I discovered simply because I noticed they were touring with The Golden Dogs earlier this year. I heard a few of their tunes on MySpace and the song Cameras On caught my attention, so The Horseshoe looked like a great place to start Saturday night. Up at the stage I met a guy who said he was there to see this band for the 7th time, and that was easily confirmed by the fact that he was acknowledged by a couple of the band members.

The Yoko Casionos
The Yoko Casionos
The Yoko Casionos

Misty Reid (guitar, vocals) is real pleasure to watch due to her sweet smiles and slick guitar playing. She and the rest of the band look like they're having a whole heap of fun on stage. Their music is energetic and filled with catchy riffs and within two songs I was bopping my head along with the fans at the front. They brought out a guest trumpet player for the final number, which sounded great in the mix. Not a lot of overly complex material here, just fun-loving fun-filled indie rock music fun.

Info: The Yoko Casionos | Connect: MySpace

10:00 PM - The Red Light Riot @ Rancho Relaxo

After The Yoko Casionos, my friend and I hit the street and moved up Spadina to College to catch The Red Light Riot at Rancho Relaxo. Rancho Relaxo is a long narrow bar with a very narrow multi-tiered stage, a group of tables in front of the sound board, and a back area with a bar where most of the crowd hung out. This band was was recommended to me, I think because the person knew there would be lots of good moments to photograph. And there was. The Red Light Riot is fronted by two females - Francine does lead vocals and Donna plays a searing lead guitar.

The Red Light Riot
The Red Light Riot
The Red Light Riot

With The Red Light Riot, it's all about rock, rock, rock, and Francine leads the charge with her near-insane level of energy. Although Donna attempted to draw the crowd forward, only one viewer moved up while the rest remained at the back of the bar. I suspect it was more to do with people not wanting to obstruct the view from the tables rather than fear of the band, but I also don't think we should rule out fear altogether. These chicks can intimidate. And rock.

Info: The Red Light Riot | Connect: MySpace

12:00 AM - The Golden Dogs @ The Horseshoe

After a slight detour through Kensington Market, we went back to The Horseshoe to catch The Golden Dogs, a band that I saw for the first time back in July 2006 when they opened for Cracker. I'd been meaning to see them again, and now that I have - before I say anything else - listen up: Go see this band! For me, it was the best set of CMW. They are what rock 'n' roll is all about. They are the reason we have stages. They are what I want to see when I get out to a concert.

The Golden Dogs
The Golden Dogs
The Golden Dogs

As I mentioned, this is the second time I've seen them play - the difference between the first time and this one was that this time I was completely familiar with their music (I placed Big Eye Little Eye in my top 10 albums of 2006) and that The Horseshoe was packed.

The Golden Dogs
The Golden Dogs
The Golden Dogs

Dave Azzolini (lead vocals, guitar) and Jessica Grassia (keyboard, vocals) were in perfect form, co-creating a stage presence that stands way out. All the same attributes were there as before: An amazing connection between Dave and Jessica, Dave's scorching guitar, and all delivered with a tight and amazingly energetic performance. But because I was able to get my eyes off of Dave and Jessica this time, I noticed a little more, such as Taylor Knox completely dominating his drum kit. When the set ended, I was left with adrenaline in my system. I love it when music makes me feel that way. They're heading down to SXSW soon, but I'll be keeping my eyes open for another Toronto date. When it's announced, be there.

Info: The Golden Dogs | Connect: MySpace

1:00 AM - The Mark Inside @ The Boat

I was a fan of The Mark Inside before I even started photographing bands. If you check my iTunes statistics, you'd see that Dead Already from their 2005 album Static/Crash is high in my list of all-time most played songs (#20 to be exact). It's good hard rock with slightly rough vocals and heavy guitar, and so it fulfills one of the harsher sides of my listening habits. Their music isn't all like that, but those are the songs of theirs that attract me. Although their show wasn't officially part of CMW, they were playing nearby at The Boat, so with the adrenaline still in my system from The Golden Dogs, we headed back into Kensington Market. The Boat is decked out like, well, a boat, complete with leaks in the ceiling (at first I thought the buckets hanging from the rafters were just for show until I got dripped on near the stage).

The Mark Inside
The Mark Inside
The Mark Inside

The boys from The Mark Inside are confident, heavy-hitting performers. The show was very personal due to the very low stage and the fact that three of four band members positioned themselves right up at the crowd. By this time of night there were more than a few people that had a few extras drinks in them (including this photographer), which mixed well with the style of music. For me, it was the right way to close out the four tiring nights of CMW.

Info: The Mark Inside | Connect: MySpace

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