When Australian singer-songwriter Mia Dyson walked on stage at The Rivoli on Day 2 of Canadian Music Week, there was a heightened excitement in the air around the packed venue – a stage presence that cannot be explained in words. Dyson, who had previously won Best Blues and Roots Album in 2005 at the prestigious ARIA awards in Australia for her record Parking Lots, certainly has the look of a rock star. The singer would constantly and cooly swing her short, brown, floppy hair across to the left of her face throughout her performance and her music backed up her look.
Dyson’s 40-minute set involved an emphatically bruising and bluesy ride featuring a blend of warm vocals and muscular guitar chops. It was Dyson’s first time in Toronto in 10 years; hopefully the wait for another performance from the Aussie sensation in this city is shorter, as 40 minutes was too short of a time to rock out to her music.
The Meds, from Charlottetown, P.E.I., followed Dyson with their 40-minute pop rock set. The four-piece band had a hard act to follow and their music was a little bit of a step down. They have this contemporary sound that is punchy and loud, but there was nothing distinct about it, and it was especially noticeable when following a raw and bluesy act as Mia Dyson.
Unfortunately, the crowd began to thin during their set and that feeling of excitement began to dissipate. However, an upside to their performance is their lyrics, which evoke a feeling of heartbreak, truly felt if you key in on the words.
The band certainly gave it all on the stage, showing Torontonians a sample of the growing pop-rock scene in a once celtic music-dominated Prince Edward Island.
Click here to see a photo gallery from the show!