Weirdly enough, I don’t feel like I went to as many shows in 2015 than I did in previous years. Here are five shows that stood out, in chronological order of when they happened.
Lucius at Adelaide Hall – June 18th
I made a promise to myself not to include any shows from any of the festivals I attended this summer, but seeing as Lucius was the only NXNE show I attended, I’m going to treat it like a normal show. Lucius is a band I’ve desperately wanted to see since they released their debut album a couple years ago. I got to see them at the newly renovated Adelaide Hall in June, and it was everything I had hoped for and more. I can’t wait for the release of their new album which will hopefully mean a new tour.
Zeus at the Ontario Celebration Zone – August 16th
The Ontario Celebration Zone was a great little thing put on around the same time as the Pan Am Games, but not actually related to it. A celebration of Ontario complete with great free music. Zeus opened for Young Empires on what I believe was the last night of the celebration zone. They’re such a great live act, switching instruments, taking turns on lead vocals. They know exactly what it takes to put on a great show, and they deliver every time.
El Vy at the Opera House – November 17th (Photo Credit: Evelyn Craig)
I really loved the debut single from El Vy, Matt Berninger of the National’s side project. Return to the Moon was so good that I had high hopes for the album of the same name. But my first listen left me feeling that it was kind of weird. That being said, I still wanted to go see the band live, if only to be as close to Matt Berninger as I’d ever get a chance to be. Tickets were incredibly hard to come by, seeing as a lot of people had the same thought as I did. Somehow I ended up getting in, and was amazingly surprised when all the songs I had listened to were infinitely less weird when played live. It wasn’t a long set, but it was awesome, and I especially liked their cover of She Drives Me Crazy.
Hey Rosetta at Massey Hall – November 20th
Okay, this may be a bit blasphemous. but in general, I’m not a huge fan of Massey Hall. Before I saw Hey Rosetta there, I had only been once, and I just found the seats incredibly uncomfortable, and the ushers a little uptight. But I missed Hey Rosetta at WayHome, and really wanted to see them, so when I had the opportunity, I decided my dislike of Massey Hall could be put aside and I would suck it up, We ended up standing almost the entire time (benefits of being in the last row and not blocking anyone) and I was reminded how incredible the acoustics are, combined with the incredible lighting job, and of course the amazingness of Hey Rosetta’s live shows, I had a really good time.
Half Moon Run at the MOD Club – December 17th
I was really excited to see Half Moon Run, and was fairly certain before the show that it would end up being one of my favourites of the year. I’m pretty sure I had only seen them live once, when they did an acoustic nooner at Fanshawe College, so to see them play a club show was going to be a different experience, not to mention, they had only just released they’re debut album the last time I saw them, and now they’re a polished and experienced band. They didn’t disappoint. Their stage presence and harmonies were on point, and even after a two-song encore, the MOD Club wanted more. So they came back out for a rare second encore and performed I Shall Be Released by Bob Dylan and made famous by the Band. I love The Band. So any time I get to hear a cover, it’s pretty much guaranteed to put a few check marks next to that show, and Half Moon Run did an exceptional job.