Weird shows

Today I noticed a message that was a few days old, notifying me about a rather unusual event that will be happening on the Saturday of Canadian Music Week, or CMW as it is usually referred to. It was from the always-a-party band Goodnight, Sunrise, who play a brand of rock and roll that always gets people going.

This unusual event is a “rock and roll spin class” happening near the King & Bathurst area in Toronto (in case anyone is genuinely interested in attending here’s the event info). The event is exactly as it sounds- people will be working out on exercise bikes while Goodnight, Sunrise play their album Create/Destroy/Create from start to finish.

It will be a truly unique experience, and yet another tick mark on the growing list of weird shows I’ve attended in the few years that I’ve been able to do so. Here are a couple of weird show highlights for me:

  • Kontravoid at the Toronto Public Library (Bloor/Gladstone Branch): It was my first time seeing the solo musician, who plays wonderfully danceable dark electronic music, and the first time I saw him was in the cozy Bloor/Gladstone library. He played on the second floor, where the stacks were. A sizable crowd showed up, but what was more amusing was the people in the library who had no idea what was going on. One guy apparently worked on an essay through the very loud set. What a hero.
  • The Shining-themed party: There’s always something to be said for a show whose entrance is in a back alley. This party was pretty incredible to attend, as late as it started. The venue (whatever it was; I have no idea what its original use was/is) was decked out in a truly creepy fashion, with one room in particular filled with The Shining references, including a tricycle and a typewriter with a paper coming out filled with the line “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Not to mention there was a legitimate impersonator who looked and sounded exactly like Jack Nicholson in that movie.
  • Wavelength/Silent Shout teamup at Wicked: Wicked, by the way, is the name of a Toronto sex club. The show actually happened beneath Wicked, a place officially known as Play. Leading up to the show, the Facebook page had all kinds of comments like “DOES COVER ALLOW ENTRANCE TO THE SEX PALACE” and “Will it be sterilized before we enter?” “More like can we use the sex swings.” The place itself was definitely interesting, featuring a long catwalk, white couches and bathroom stalls without locks. Two of the acts (if I recall) actually used the catwalk, which was pretty fantastic.

Those are the three main ones- there may have been others that I’ve forgotten, but those stick out in my mind. I always have to hand it to promoters who know how to take risks and the bands that go along with it. These experiments don’t always work out perfectly, but they certainly make for a more colourful story than “I saw a band in a bar last night.”

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