Report and Photos by Julia Pelish and Rod Charles
TORONTO, ONTARIO — Anyone who has seen Matt Mays perform live knows he’ll blister his way through a 90-minute show like one of the fast cars he likes to drive. On Friday night, Mays had only about half the time he usually does on stage and packed all his energy into a compact set that would make Bugatti proud.
One of Canada’s most talented and entertaining rock stars, Mays ripped through a six-song set a few hours after he won the Male Artist of the Year Award at the SiriusXM Canadian Indie Music Awards Showcase. His performance at the Kool Haus was the highlight of a thrilling evening for the roughly 2,000 fans and music industry professionals in attendance. The Indies are the main attraction of Canadian Music Week, which is celebrating its 30th year. It is one of the most significant annual tourism events in Toronto, with hundreds of acts and approximately $25 million arriving into the city.
Mays, the Nova Scotia rocker who was also a big winner at the East Coast Music Awards earlier this month, played songs from his acclaimed 2012 album, “Coyote,” including the hit single “Take It On Faith,” as well as early favourites “Cocaine Cowgirl” and “Tall Trees.” No stranger to Canadian Music Week, Mays has put on some spectacular shows in previous editions of the festival, which features established and emerging artists from around the world. In 2009, Mays tore it up at Lee’s Palace in a late-night set that he and his former backing band, El Torpedo, extended til 2 am.
He seemed eager to play just as late on Friday, too. But with performers limited to only so many songs at the Indie Awards, he turned the stage over to Emily Haines and Metric, who finished off the night with “Help I’m Alive” and other hits. Metric won Group of the Year at the sold-out show.
Other performers included Toronto’s Diamond Rings, Cold Specks and Wooden Sky. The Canadian Music Fest wraps up with performances across 60 venues on Sunday. Visit the event’s website for full details.
Here is the full list of the SiriusXM Indie Awards winners:
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Japandroids – Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl Recording Co.)
SINGLE OF THE YEAR: Carly Rae Jepsen Call Me Maybe (604 Records)
GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR: Metric (Metric Music International Inc.)
ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Carly Rae Jepsen (604 Records)
FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Cold Specks (Arts & Crafts)
MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Matt Mays (Sonic Records)
LIVE ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR: deadmau5 (Ultra Music)
SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR: Josh Ramsay (604 Records)
VIDEO OF THE YEAR: Marianas Trench Fallout (604 Records)
MUST FOLLOW ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Said The Whale (Hidden Pony Records)
COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR: Artists Against Bullying – True Colors (Wax)
MOST PLAYED INDEPENDENT ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR: Carly Rae Jepsen (604 Records)
BEST-SELLING INDEPENDENT RELEASE OF THE YEAR: Metric Synthetica (Metric Music International Inc.)
ALTERNATIVE ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR: Yukon Blonde (Dine Alone Records)
BLUES ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR: The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer (Independent)
CHILDREN’S ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR: Jennifer Gasoi (Sparkling Productions)
COUNTRY ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR: Dallas Smith (604 Records)
DANCE ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR: Massari (CP Records)
ELECTRONIC ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR: Grimes (4AD/Arbutus Records)
FOLK/ROOTS ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR: The Wooden Sky (Black Box Recordings Inc)
FRANCOPHONE ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR: Lisa LeBlanc (Bonsound)
JAZZ ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR: Emilie-Claire Barlow (Empress Music Group Inc.)
METAL ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR: Devin Townsend Project (eOne Music Canada)
POP ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR: Marianas Trench (604 Records)
PUNK/HARDCORE ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR: METZ (Sub Pop Records)
RAP/HIP-HOP ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR: Cadence Weapon (Upper Class Recordings)
ROCK ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR: Big Wreck (SRO Anthem)
SOUL/R&B ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR: The Weeknd (XO&co.)
WORLD ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR: The Souljazz Orchestra (Solidarity)
INTERNATIONAL GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR: The Black Keys (Nonesuch)
INTERNATIONAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Taylor Swift (Big Machine Records)
INTERNATIONAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Mumford & Sons Babel (Glassnote)
INTERNATIONAL SINGLE OF THE YEAR: fun. – We Are Young (Fueled By Ramen)
INTERNATIONAL BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR: The Lumineers (Dine Alone Records)
INTERNATIONAL VIDEO OF THE YEAR: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop (Macklemore)
SIRIUSXM EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR (English): Poor Young Things
SIRIUSXM EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR (French): Canailles
More About Canadian Music Fest
Dates: Tuesday to Sunday in Toronto
Wristbands: Purchase wristbands at the Canadian Music Week website or at the event’s headquarters at the Marriott Hotel at 525 Bay Street (see map below). A six-day wristband runs $60 while the VIP wristband is $120.
Tickets: Individual show tickets can be purchased at the door of the venue or on the CMW website.
More Rock ‘n Roll Road Trips
See Vacay.ca videos and read articles on: