Browsing Tag


Concert Review: The Barenaked Ladies

Not a million-dollar performance

According to an Orchestra London poster, the Barenaked Ladies’ show at Centennial Hall on Friday night was supposed to be the “hottest ticket in London,” but the famous foursome didn’t entirely live up to such high expectations.

Beginning the show with hits including “Lovers in a Dangerous Time” and “Another Postcard,” the band garnered the most excitement when they played “Big Bang Theory Theme,” which they made for CBS’ sitcom. Other songs performed on Friday included “Pinch Me” and “One Week,” until they closed with “If I Had $1,000,000,” the latter of which featured an excellent violin solo from an orchestra member.

When forty-something lead singer Ed Robertson joked about his old age, this fazed neither the middle-aged couples cozy in the balcony’s plush seats, nor the other patrons enjoying pitchers of beer while sitting around tables in the mezzanine. The band joked about the unusual seating arrangement by announcing “the next number is B9,” as if they were bingo callers.

Among the many jokes cracked throughout was Ed’s suggestion that they pass around a wireless microphone to each member of the orchestra, so they can say what an honour it is to play with the Barenaked Ladies. Albeit a poor testament to the band’s comedic expertise, the crowd seemed amused.

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Western Fair at Heart of Forest City

With O-Week festivities over, I eagerly wanted to find something fun to do with my long weekend (thanks to Fridays off all school year long). The Arkells’  free show on Thursday night at Western Fair inspired me to take the roommate and leave the bubble bordered by Masonville to the north and the VIA Rail station to the south.

I have yet to try Elephant Ears or a Colossal Onion, but exploring the fair grounds and midway made for a great evening, especially because I didn’t make it to The Ex this summer. Ferris wheel: awesome. Mini roller coaster: awesome. Fun at Western Fair: priceless.

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Mixed and Ready to Rock

Once Canadian Club posts started taking over my Facebook news feed, I got in touch with my friend Eric, an idea machine, to investigate whether his team in Liberty Village was behind it. Verdict: guilty as charged. A few DMs later, he offered to send me a kit filled with some blue summer essentials, and then I responded “Awesome!” That’s my word of the summer.

Since then, I’ve worn the aqua blue shades everywhere from Yorkdale to the doctor’s office and I love my Canadian Club t-shirt too. I couldn’t help but notice the shirt’s resemblance to old Western t-shirts. I suspect a nostalgic former Londoner influenced the design.

Canadian Club is offering a huge opportunity for emerging bands to enter their Mixed and Ready Cover Challenge contest. To enter, bands must submit a cover of 1 of 5 songs by a Canadian musician, such as The Arkells. The deadline to enter is August 27, but upload a video to Facebook soon so your friends can vote for your video! The winning band will receive $3,000 for transit to Toronto or new gear, as well as studio time to record, mix and master 3 songs.

Even if performing isn’t your thing, you’re eligible to win Ticketmaster gift cards just by voting, so nag your friends and any neighbours with instruments in their basement to participate! I’m on a mission to discover the next Jesse Labelle.

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Samsung Presents The Midway State and The Arkells

On Thursday night, Samsung leveraged the ever-increasing popularity of pop-up stores to host their second pop-up concert in Toronto’s downtown core. Last August, Metric played for a crowd of about ten thousand outside of Union Station and it seems that Samsung is making these concerts annual events, this time expanding nationwide to include dates in Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal too. The bands delivered stellar crowd-pleasing performances, so I’m glad I went to see The Midway State once again and to hear the Juno award winning Arkells play live.




Through an effective marketing campaign that included a #samsungsecret Twitter hashtag, press releases and a full page colour print ad in the Metro, Samsung invited Torontonians to see The Midway State and The Arkells, no tickets required. The concert was held in a parking lot at Blue Jays Way and Wellington Street West. The twentysomethings living in condos across the street, some of whom made Bristol board signs, were delighted to have a great view from their balconies.

Reaching out to local influencers, such as Casie Stewart and Lauren O’Neil, who are active on Twitter, ensured that the event remained at the forefront of their followers’ post-work plans. Twitter further played a role in generating brand awareness because retweeting Samsung Mobile Canada granted people like myself, curious as to what they would giveaway, a snazzy Samsung swag bag. Well, let’s not embellish their water bottles and pen too much, but all the items were branded in blue colours and Samsung logos. The only item that directly relates to their Android phones and tablet that the event was meant to promote, is a screen cleaner, which is certainly a useful freebie. Everyone at the event was friendly however and the distribution of free water bottles on a humid evening was certainly appreciated.

Perhaps the product demonstrators should have received better training, given that the Samsung representative I spoke to lacked knowledge about the Galaxy tablet’s camera functionality. After watching videographers capture the performances using the tablets, I was interested to see how they worked, but was unimpressed by his brief explanation.

Overall, the pop-up event organized by Communique was a hit and it put the event planning agency on this marketing intern’s radar. I’m eager to see what other exciting events pop up unexpectedly in the city this summer.