Yes, so close you can almost smell the booze and sweat- Canadian Music Week 2015 is nearly upon us. Spring is in full swing, summer is around the corner and Toronto is about to be taken over for a full week of live shows. To call Canadian Music Week ”huge” would be an understatement; there is a lot of live music for you to see and the full schedule is listed over on the CMW Website. But if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all, don’t worry, we at Naked Underground have put together a guide to help you figure it all out. We’ve broken everything up so you don’t have to, below you will find the lowdown on the venues, bands we’re excited for and even where you should eat because, we love you and everyone needs a solid snack at 2am to keep partying ’til 4am (to skip to the food, scroll to the bottom).
The Venues: If there is one thing that Toronto has an abundance of, it’s incredible music venues. Establishments that you can go and see great live music at, any day of the week. Of course the amount of live music on offer in CMW is crazy. So if you aren’t sure about which place is best for you to go and see some fantastic live music; here are our favourite places that guarantee a good night.
The Schedule: CMW is great because you’re often able to stumble upon artists and local bands that you might previously have never heard of- I know i’m excited to do that and I intend to find a way to attend as many of the shows as possible, even if it kills me. We thought long and hard and put together our highlights of the shows we think are going to be must see this CMW 2015:
Friday May 1st 2015
CMW starts big on Friday and with 17 shows and over 60 bands playing on the opening night, you’d have to be a true hermit not to catch some live music. Here are a few bands we’re excited about:
Metz @ 9.00pm (& 9.00pm on May 2nd)
Much anticipated Toronto return for heavy rockers Metz as they take over Lee’s Palace for two nights with Detroit band Protomartyr– Event Info
THE PHOENIX CONCERT THEATRE
The Jesus & Mary Chain @ 7.00pm
It’s the 30th Anniversary of the seminal debut album Psychocandy at the show at The Phoenix promises to be massive, limited tickets left- Event info
THE DRAKE UNDERGROUND @7.00pm
THE GREAT HALL @ 7.00pm
(Featuring a pissed off Nick Offerman for all you Parks & Recreation fans out there.)
Saturday May 2nd 2015
Day 2 and things aren’t showing any sign of slowing down, with some fantastic shows happening. Also if you missed them last night- METZ are playing a second show at The Phoenix Concert Theatre and Fidlar are also playing a second show – this time at The Horseshoe Tavern.
Don’t let this show by Toronto locals Mimico pass you by. If you haven’t heard of them before I recommend heading over to The Silver Dollar Room for what promises to be an interesting show headlined by Japanese band Zoobombs– Event Info
THE PHOENIX CONCERT THEATRE
I Mother Earth@7.00pm
In what promises to be a huge gig, I Mother Earth and James Black will be destroying The Phoenix Concert Theatre on Saturday. Event Info
Gold Link @9.00pm
Gold Link at Tattoo is a show not to be missed. With only one album out so far, this 20 year old up and coming rapper grabbed over a million plays on his Soundcloud with the first six songs he ever released. Expect big things. Event Info
Sunday May 3rd 2015
Brush off that hangover with this wonderful cure and get some brunch in you because CMW is far from over. Today is a biggie for me…
As a lad born in Manchester, UK the fact that Noel Gallagher is playing fills me with embarrassing levels of excitement. The first of two shows at the Sony Centre, playing songs from his new album Chasing Yesterday and maybe a few Oasis songs if we’re all lucky, I can’t think of a reason you wouldn’t be there. Event Info
Monday May 4th 2015
Just because the weekends over doesn’t mean CMW slows down. Noel Gallagher is playing his second night at the Sony Centre and Of Monsters and Men are featuring at Massey Hall.
Of Monsters and Men @9.00pm
Of Monsters and Men are playing at the iconic Massey Hall, giving us a preview of their greatly anticipated upcoming album, Beneath The Skin. Event Info
Tuesday May 5th 2015
Be sure to check out the schedule and head to a bar near you this evening because their is lots of live music. Guaranteed to give you a late night and contemplate taking a ”sick-day” on Wednesday (though we’d never advocate that… honest).
THE DRAKE UNDERGROUND
Electronic artist and English singer-songwriter Lapsley finally comes to Toronto and can be found at The Drake Underground. Reminiscent of Banks, she’ll be playing her new EP Understudy and is definitely one to watch.
Wednesday May 6th 2015
Busiest night of CMW so far with 37 shows happening across the city- there is so much to see and so little time.
CMW Party at Handlebar @ 7.00pm
It’s the CMW 2015 Party featuring Toronto based punk-rock record label, Underground Operations. With several artists on the bill this will be a packed night of music, featuring the likes of;
Rob Moir @9.00pm
Heart Attack Kids @11.00pm
North Creed @1.00am
THE HORSESHOE TAVERN
THE OPERA HOUSE @9.00pm
Australian solo artist Xavier Rudd comes to Toronto with his new band The United Nations, aptly named as they are group of musicians from around the world. Playing songs from new album Nanna– Event Info
Thursday May 7th 2015
THE PHOENIX CONCERT THEATRE @ 9.00PM & 11.00PM
If it’s still standing after the I Mother Earth gig, The Phoenix Concert Theatre welcomes 94.9 The Rock and Collective Concerts as they present Montreal band The Damn Truth and Australian band The Lazys. They are both support to US rockers Rival Sons in what is going to be a crazy night. Event Info
SONY CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS @9.00pm
LEE’S PALACE @8.00pm
On a night already packed with gigs you can’t afford to miss, we chuck another your way. Toronto band Brews Willis are playing at Lee’s Palace. Featuring on a line up that also contains Chicago band Twin Peaks (who’s album is available as a free download above) and the much hyped King Tuff. Naturally, we’re so excited… and so to should you be. Event Info
*King Tuff is also playing at Hard Luck Bar on Friday 8th.
Friday May 8th 2015
It’s the weekend again and CMW is still going strong. Rolling into the last few days now, you better make the most of all this live music cause you’ll miss it when it’s gone.
THE GREAT HALL @ 7.00pm
Osheaga’s 10th Anniversary feat Milk & Bone
THE MOD CLUB @ 7.30pm
Presented by Indie88- Toronto band Brave Shores are playing The Mod Club as part of a bustling Canadian lineup Event Info
THE GRAND BALLROOM – SHERATON CENTRE HOTEL @ 6.00pm
Fanfest 2015 is going to be one of the biggest nights of CMW featuring performances from; Toronto artists Lights (who we’re really excited to see), Kiesza and Colbie Caillat amongst others at The Grand Ballroom in the Sheraton Hotel. Event Info
Saturday May 10th 2015
It’s the penultimate day of CMW 2015 and if you thought FanFest 2015 was the big party then you’re so wrong. Saturday is home to The Indies and a multitude of other performances by some big artists.
LEE’S PALACE @8.00pm
THE DANFORTH MUSIC HALL @7.00pm
THE GRAND BALLROOM- SHERATON CENTRE HOTEL @7.00pm
Always a huge night at CMW normally, this is the 15th Indies and with performances from Alvvays as well as rock legends Billy Talent, it promises to be something special. Event Info
Sunday May 10th 2015
It is the final night at CMW 2015! Now whether you’ve gone hard over the last week or just seen a couple of shows; we advise you to rest up, make the most of this final night and all the live shows on offer.
For those of you (who are like me) and find that you can’t get drunk without stuffing your face, i’ve added a little bonus food section of my favourite eats near some of the venues listed above. The good thing about Toronto is the multitude of food establishments (over 8,000!) so if nothing I suggest takes your fancy, there will always be something else,
Queen St West –
If you find yourself on Queen West at any point you’re guaranteed to be spoilt for choice with the amount of restaurants and bars available (trust me, I live here and it’s still a bit daunting).
Incase you’re down the other end of Queen West at The Cameron House or The Horseshoe, you might want to check out the newly opened Franks or grab one of the best burgers in the city at The Burger Priest
This is a special mention to the venue, because if you’re watching a band in Sneaky Dee’s you’re better off just arriving early and eating there as the food is something special- don’t forget to order the special Death From Above 1979 nachos for a real treat!
Bloor St W-
Lee’s Palace is one of the most famous concert venues in Toronto and Bloor St W doesn’t disappoint in terms of the food places on offer. From the first ”Premium Dive Bar” to open in the city El Furniture Warehouse which offers good food at $4.95, always. To Insomnia offering late night comfort food and cheap beer.
Dundas St W–
Situated near The Dakota Tavern and The Garrison is 24 hour diner The Lakeview. Offering a huge menu with daily specials its one that will never disappoint. Notable mentions nearby are Hawker Bar with its asian style street food and for some cheap comfort food you can’t go wrong with The Ossington Stop.