CMW 2015: Saturday

By Ayla Shiblaq

My first impression every year with the release of the CMW line-up is always mixed with excitement and bafflement. The curating of CMW is so random which, delightfully, brings in something for everyone. Whether you are a pop or post-punk fan or both, there is always something for you here at Canadian Music Week. Although the festival itself is rather disjointed, last night’s Metz release party at Lee’s Palce was far from it. From the curating to the venue, this was the perfect way to release Metz’s second album appropriately named II.

Opening for Metz were two post-punk bands, a local band, Mimico, and Protomartyr from Detroit. I, personally, was there for Protomartyr. Their 2014 release of Under Color of Official Right was vastly underrated and served as one of my quintessential summer post-punk albums coupled with Ought’s More Than Any Other Day. My anticipation for Protomartyr was overwhelming, but Mimico was a pleasant distraction. Their instrumentals were interestingly complex and their varied vocals proved an effective complement. Their performance was just enough to get me to Google them after the night was over, and say “I’m excited to see this band in two years.”

Next up was Protomartyr, the moment I was personally waiting for. This group of four relatively unassuming men was able to charm their fans and bring in some converts. Frontman Joe Casey impressively downed three beers throughout his set and was able to maintain composure even Matt Berninger would be jealous of.  Their performance all in all really showed that it really is time to move the band from opening slots to headlining.

Next was Metz (hey, that rhymed.) When Metz came on, it seemed like a personal victory. By this point, I think I’ve regrettably missed a total of three Metz shows in Toronto. Last night proved how not only mistaken I was about missing their shows, also how my impression of this band was underrating their performance ability.

Metz, for me, has never been a band that I’ve become particularly obsessed with. I’ll listen through their album, love it, and move on. However, this will all change. Metz is an incredible live band that knows how to work an audience. From teasing Protomartyr for being the only non-local act on the bill, to telling moshers to hug each other after picking someone up, Metz was able to make everyone in a large venue feel like a member of a family. On top of this, their enthusiasm, sound, and energy really separated them from counterparts. The lights, the movement, and all band members being drenched in their own sweat only a half hour after they came on really showed the band’s dedication to their performance art. What was most impressive was the their ability to add a genuine energy to their show without it seeming overdone. Unfortunately, I was not feeling well and had to leave early, but I know after this night never to miss a Metz show again.

This show didn’t feel as though it was actually a part of CMW. From my actual entry hassle (I had to pay even though I had a wristband) to the vibe, the festival feeling was completely lost. Rather than the casual “let’s check this band out mentality” of a festival, Lee’s Palace really became a meeting ground for Metz biggest fans. Let’s put it this way, if you were to play a drinking game and took a shot for every Metz shirt you saw besides the merch table, you’d probably be dead.


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