No matter where you go tonight, it’s a very Jays-heavy atmosphere. It was no different at The Hideout last night with the red of the infernal interior clashing with the blue glow of the surrounding screens. Jays were in conflict with the early performances of Indie Week.
This festival may be struggling under the weight of the Jays’ fifth game, but they still have a moderate turn out with people who came to see the game, or came to hear the music, or both. Soon, the game ended with a victory for Toronto, and the music got started.
First up was Crossword (now a solo act, but used to work with a band) who uses the loose lyricism of rap to convey complex political messages – even going so far as to call Stephen Harper a “nazi”. Well, if that isn’t topical, I don’t now what is. He started off the night with some free-styling about the Jays and various people in the crowd, bringing engagement to the bar atmosphere.
Even though there weren’t a lot of people in the room, he managed to pull peoples’ attention away from sports. And how can you not fall in love with an act that has a song called “Fuck It”? What I also appreciate about this young artist is that he took the time to meet everyone, whether they were involved in Indie Week or not. He ripped with lines like “This is my earth, my turf” and others that were pointedly trying to inspire people.
It seemed like his biggest problem with the Conservative party was their treatment of people of Middle-Eastern descent under Bill C-51, since he is of Iranian origin. These are, after all, perspectives and opinions. He pulled out some more collaborative songs (the ones requiring a degree of audience participation) when the night was early and the crowd was thin. Not many people responded to the prompts he gave. All in all, he was a fun rapper, as far as Torontonian rappers go.
Then Time Giant hit the stage, having a degree of ‘80s old school thrash to them – long hair and all. It’s a good venue to suit the lighting and colours of every performances’ needs. I find myself thinking that if the Foo Fighters had a but more teeth, they would probably sound a bit like this. The drum solo was probably the most engaging part of their performance. When your heart beat, the thud of the drum steadily answered – this band was great for knowing the cues that would captivate the audience.
Between performances, the party atmosphere was certainly there. Most of the people on the floor were involved in a band in some way. The curious passersby resided near the bar, but were vividly interested in each performance.
Blakdenim was also a pretty lively performance, bringing on the vibe of an act I reviewed earlier this month: Chicago Loud 9. Both acts have a varied group of many talents. With the intricate instrumentation of the flute mixed with the thunderstruck rap verses and full-fledged female vocals, we have an unlikely crew that gets together to create something that a lot of people can enjoy. At times, it comes across as an Evanescence sound alike, particularly during one of their tracks. By the later hours of the night, their music becomes a refuge to people looking for something to do after the game. It played on into the night while the most adventurous of the Torontonians decided to stay and hear them out.