CMW 2013: Saturday

By Emily Scherzinger

Canadian Music Fest is a music festival featuring artists from all genres in venues across Toronto, running from March 19th to March 24th.

Castle If at Comfort Zone

For my last night of CMW, I hit up Comfort Zone to catch the amazing line-up at the Silent Shout show, but specifically to catch Castle If and Mozart’s Sister, two bands that are entirely out of my commonly rock-and-rap musical diet.

Jess of Castle If at Comfort Zone

Jess of Castle If at Comfort Zone

The three members of Castle If entered the stage wearing face paint and carrying a fog machine. As they moved easily through their set, it was clear that the band was a well-oiled machine, with all of the members handling their respective instruments like pros, especially the lead singer, Jess, who had a keyboard on either side of her. She also sang and kept an ethereal stage persona that easily managed to get the crowd dancing.

Part philosophical drug trip, part performance art, the members of Castle If put on a show that makes you ask the all-too-familiar question, “What the hell did I just see?” Jess popped some pills with her band mates in the middle of her set and threw the bottle into the crowd, saying monotonously, “It’s ten dollars a bottle.” At the end of their set, the drummer and bassist sprinkled a can of sparkles over Jess, which she then threw into the audience. As strange as this all may sound, Castle If pulls the weirdness off through their music, with songs that commonly have heavy bass lines and drums, a focus on the electronica aspect of the music, and a droning, haunting voice, all adding together to make a strangely coherent combination of acid rock and electronica that is impossible to not be awed by.

Cellphone at Comfort Zone

I was not sure what to think of this band as they set up their equipment: heavy electronic instruments with two guitars on opposite sides of the stage. The members of Cellphone looked as though they were either Eminem-style rappers, or punk aficionados.

Cellphone at Comfort Zone, photo by Adam Bernhardt

Cellphone at Comfort Zone, photo by Adam Bernhardt

As it turns out, I was right about the punk – Cellphone takes punk music and jams electronica down its throat to create an odd mix of thrashing dance music. Complete with head-banging and playing an instrument with an odd part of your body, Cellphone fit the stage persona typical of punk bands, except with two synths in the middle of the stage. The screaming vocals, heavy electronic guitar, and even heavier techno sounds make Cellphone an amazing live band full of creative genre-bending and insane head-banging.

Mozart’s Sister at Comfort Zone

Castle If and Cellphone hyped up the crowd for the next bands, one of which was Mozart’s Sister. This performer, Calia, who goes by the stage name of Mozart’s Sister, put on an incredibly ruthless performance that sent shivers up my spine. Her voice was a powerhouse to match her commanding stage presence, as evidenced by her invitation for the audience to join her on stage for some “sexy dancing.”

Mozart's Sister at Comfort Zone

Mozart’s Sister at Comfort Zone

This may sound silly, but I sometimes judge bands based on how they get me moving. I am notorious for not dancing at concerts, instead just choosing to stand still in the crowd with my arms crossed over my chest (even if everyone else is dancing), or spend my energy in snapping photos. However, I couldn’t help but actually dance to Mozart’s Sister – I put down my camera bag and started waving my arms and kicking my feet. It may have been a combination of the beer and having a fun time with friends that made me dance, but I honestly believe that it was the pop-y musical vibes from a fun-loving performer.

My night finished with a DJ set by the one and only Cadence Weapon. If I was out of my musical element before, I definitely was not once he took the stage, as he played an amazing sampling of modern rap. I sang (or rapped) my vocal chords out and danced my feet off to “Swimming Pools” by Kendrick Lamar, “F**kin’ Problems” by A$AP Rocky, and more. I had experienced the strangest performances and some amazing music all night, but it was definitely nice to get back to my favourite genre, DJ-ed by one of my favourite rappers.

Follow Emily and other Demo contributors during CMW on Twitter and Instagram for live updates.

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