Toronto was awash with festivals this summer, to the point that some shows, though packed with happy revelers, couldn't help but go overlooked. So what's been going on in the deep dark expanse of Toronto's underground? Alpha Strategy's Rory Hinchley is teaming up with Toronto's Wavelength to throw a $5, six band end of summer party this Saturday Handlebar featuring artists who usually spend their time lurking in relative shadows, and I figured these weirdos might have an unusual perspective. I asked them to describe their favourite Toronto show of the summer (spoiler: Petra Glynt, Soybomb HQ, and Thighs reign in the answers). Get to know these mysterious creatures as you see Toronto through their eyes, and stream their sounds.
The best Toronto shows of the summer, according to:
Greydyn A. Gatti (Tranz DeFonce)
The best show of the summer happened on August 16th at Soybomb HQ. it was one of these later summer shows where everyone just wants to party, and everyone's in a great mood. John Milner You're So Boss opened up, and I didn't even recognize them. They're so tight and so weird, yet really free, and had all new songs; they really slayed on this night. Then local legend Jon Shapiro's (Induced Labour) returned with his new band Tired; they're so ferocious and punishing I could have watched them play all night. Thighs played afterward, and time literally stopped for me when I was watching them. The night ended with the Pink Noise from Montreal, Mark Sauner is another ex Toronto dude, and every time they come back to play here his band is better and better and this time was amazing. When I think back to the summer of 2013 I'll think of sitting on a skate ramp and watching the best Pink Noise lineup yet blast out that set of songs from their new record.
Stephen Owen (Taggerung Unbound)
I guess the answer would include a couple of gigs to be honest for different reasons. Musically I'd have to say Oxbow with the ever reliable Thighs in support at the Garrison. The uncomfortable atmosphere created by Eugene Robinson stalking the stage always makes the room feel uneasy, which is something I do enjoy. It was a shame that Oxbow's first ever Toronto show was criminally undersold. A show with more relevance was Cellular Chaos as it got me over my cowardice towards playing a solo show by putting Cuddles on as opening act to a good band. It made me feel that if they can do it, so can I.
Phil Hamilton (Beard Closet)
The best show I show I saw this summer in Toronto technically happened in the spring, May 12 to be exact. it was Gas Chamber and Despise You at Soybomb. Despise You has been one one my favourites for over a decade, and Gas Chamber do something really special. I also like watching people mosh. I picked this show because I didn't really see a lot of shows this summer, but if I have to pick a summer show it'd be any of times I saw Petra Glynt play.
Rick Weaver (Four Hands)
I was so busy dodging panther traffic and staring into the eye of the gator in Tampa, that I had no spare time to catch a sound wave of Toronto's Summer Splashdown 2013. However, the last time I popped into Toronto with the Femme Tops, I caught a superb act called Mass Horns. Words can't describe how fantastic this "duality" doubler was, so I won't bother...
James McAdams (Alpha Strategy)
Best show this summer? That's like asking me to pick the most delicious peanut out of a 400g jar (unsalted, natch). They're all uniquely special and a delight to consume. However, the show on the 31st I'm co-hosting will be the single cashew that accidentally got mixed in at the factory. Protein-rich!
If the nonsense (Hinchey's term) of the 31st sounds like a good time, see you at Handlebar this Saturday.
Lead photo of Oxbow
by Aubrey Jax via blogTO