It would be easy to say that Carly Rae Jepson was the big winner at this year’s Sirius XM Indie Awards, part of Canadian Music Week. But, with performances as amazing as those at Kool Haus in Toronto on Friday night, it would be more accurate (albeit cliché) to say that the audience walked away the real winners.
Jepson won several awards, including Single of the Year, for her smash hit, ‘Call Me Maybe’, as well as Artist of the Year and Most Played of the Year. Japandroids took home the coveted Album of the Year award for Celebration Rock, while headlining performers, Metric, won for Group of the Year. Fellow performers Cold Specks and Matt Mays took home Female Artist of the Year and Male Artist of the Year, respectively.
Onto the performances. . . .
Cadence Weapon, winner of the Rap/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year award, and who our very own, Cassandra McCann spoke to back stage, opened the show. Exciting and upbeat, he managed to get everyone even more excited for the night to come. Australian rap duo, 360 took the stage next, bringing a great mix of rap and rock.
To change the tempo of the night was Canaille, who won the Sirius XM French Emerging Artist of the Year award. The eight-person band was exciting and fun to watch. Their quirky stage presence matched their unique blend of folk/roots/vaudeville sounds.
The Wooden Sky, who won Folk/Roots Artist of the Year, took stage next, further exciting the crowd. Cold Specks later slowed the night with her spectacular vocals. A no-frills performance brought the audience to a cerebral level on which only she can deliver.
Yukon Blonde, winners of the Alternative Artist of the Year award (and who Cassandra also interviewed back stage) pumped the expectant crowd right back up. Diamond Rings, whose Bowie-esque attitude and surreal mix of rock and electro-synth managed to get even the shyest wallflowers jumping.
Next up was Matt Mays – who was incredibly energetic (and incredibly sweaty, by the end of his set). Mays performed with a level of energy and gusto that is hard to come by. His straight-up rock and roll (though sometimes blended with folk-ish undertones) brought the crowd right up to 100 for the main event.
Metric, which took home the Best-Selling Independent Release of the Year for their colossal hit, Synthetica, rounded off the evening’s performances. It’s no secret that they’re one of my personal favourite bands, but they happily shocked even me with their performance.
A wonderful blend of old and new, they got even the most unlikely audience member jumping and dancing (though I wasn’t able to snap a photo this time!)
Overall, each performance complimented the next wonderfully. There’s no better way to spend the (second) last day of Canadian Music Week than with independent gems and big-name winners all in one room.