Just like that, another Canadian Music Week has come and gone. We saw some bands, films, and panels, took some photos, and got rained on a ton as the lousy March weather had its way with us once again. We mention this knowing full well how much we begged everyone else not to complain about the weather. And yet here we are. Forgive us?
As is standard for the festival, things started off relatively quiet on Wednesday (though the night did yield some surprise gems), and things came into full swing by the weekend, with Saturday night especially delivering high-octane sets to close the festival’s award show and to keep us fueled from venue to venue in the wee hours of the morning.
With a lineup that ranged from local favourites to bands from across the world to some of the U.S.’s most revered keepers of cool, CMW proved as overwhelming as ever when it came time to choose who to see. We tried to help you (and ourselves) and, generally, took our own advice. The overarching theme that seems to have emerged from our reviews and in who we chose to highlight in our artist profiles was one that favoured our own Canadian talent; what can we say? It’s an event that is, ultimately, by and for our industry, and we’re not at a loss for good music in these parts.
There seemed to be an increase in unofficial bills and daytime shows this year, too; they were free and all-ages and even extended a charitable hand in the wake of the devastating disaster in Japan. The afternoon bills weren’t short on names, either, and were helpful in easing the nighttime scheduling pressure.
Even without any street-closing headliner like we last saw in our city at that other, bigger, festival that comes through town in the warmer months, at CMW 2011 there seemed to be fewer lineups, less turning away of passholders (a notable exception being the Ty Segall show), and more fun festival rumours, all contributing to an overall pleasant, if not necessarily blockbuster, music festival.
At the end of it all, one thing is for sure—we’ll see you next year, CMW. And we might even rethink our stance on umbrellas.