It's Friday night at CMW and I've spent the week hopping from bar to conference to award show and back again. For tonight's show I land at Lee's Palace to bask in the glory of indie rock at the Dine Alone Records showcase. Five killer and eclectic bands fit the bill for tonight's festivities with The Dandy Warhols headlining.
As the crowd begins to shuffle into the concert hall, New Swears kick off the evening with their fun loving antics and garage punk. There's nothing boring about these four rockers. Their hipster-glam stylings match their bold stage presence and outrageous tricks. This includes some very unique poses and playing techniques.
The Australian three-piece, Dune Rats follow suit with their punk rock, middle-fingers up attitude. Their grungy sound and no-f**k’s given anthem "Bullshit" is warmly received by the growing crowd of concert-goers. Dead Heavens make a transition from garage-punk to rock ’n’ roll, with spacey jams "Aderrall Highway" and head bangers like, "Can't keep Away From the Speed." Their classic sound help to ready our ears for the next group, the country-blues band, The Sadies.
By this time, the room is packed, and I have found a place up front and centre. The Sadies, who have just released a new album on Dine Alone, play a mix of their old jams and new. Whether they are slinging guitars or wailing on the violin, Dallas and Travis Good ignite their audience with a mix of country, blue grass and of course, rock n roll. Let's just say, Johnny Cash would have been proud.
And now for something a little different ... The Dandy Warhols. After we have jived to violin and bopped to a double bass with The Sadies, the mood changes and we drift into euphoria. The lights fall low and the vocal effects are turned on; these cats are humorous and hallucinogenic. While some of us may have been waiting for the big hits like "Bohemian Like You," the band focuses on their more psychedelic tracks. Singer, Courtney Taylor-Taylor is an enigmatic presence in the centre of the stage as Zia McCabe grooves along beside him with a keyboard and her tambourine. Sometimes the band turns on the funk. Their new single, “Big Girls Knock Me Out” and “STYGGO” are staples of the performance. Courtney Taylor-Taylor even serenades us with an acoustic version of the Dandy classic, “Everyday Should Be a Holiday,” and has the crowd singing along. And an invested crowd they are, I notice, when crazy fans are lifted up into the air for some crowd-surfing, and screaming to grab just one hand shake with the band as their set comes to a close.