Concerts Concerts Juno Decades: Songs of the 00's

Juno Decades: Songs of the 00's

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juno Decades
Juno Decades
Songs of the 00's
Horseshoe Tavern
March 5th, 2011

Review by: Chad Hutchings
Photos by: Robert Ciolfi

With the Juno Awards close at hand, Sticky Magazine joined some of the country's finest talent to pay tribute to Canadian music from the past decade.

To mark the 40th anniversary of The Juno Awards and their return to Toronto, the Horseshoe Tavern hosted a series of four shows over as many months, each one a celebration of a separate decade of Canadian music. Each event boasted a unique line-up of Canadian artists who shook the shackles of their own works and took the stage in what seemed to always end up as nothing short of a frenzied all-star karaoke party. Sticky was there for Songs of the 90's and, on Saturday evening, we were there as it all come to a head in the final installment, Songs of the 00's.

Setting the night in motion, Brett Caswell and the Marquee Rose stepped up to cover their favourites, a mix including The Weakerthans, Arcade Fire and New Pornographers. After treating the wildly receptive audience to their take on five modern classics, the torch was passed to Flash Lightnin, boasting Sebastien Grainger on drums. Accompanied by a few guests on the mic, the second group shifted gears and brought hard rock to the stage. With the mixed crowd as it was, there were plenty startled by the change of pace, but even the gentlest of the audience were quickly won over with hits by the Constantines, Illuminati, Fucked Up, and an homage to Peaches' "Fuck The Pain Away" that had ears ringing well into the week.

To ease the pounding pulses, NQ Arbuckle was up next, bringing the night back to a gentler sort of rock. They easily roused the crowd into song with Tegan and Sara's "Walking with a Ghost", and gave Joel Plaskett a nod with Zeus's Neil Quin on vocals. Sarah Slean eventually joined in, first diving into some Plaskett of her own, then belting out a version of "Basement Apartment" that gave the original Sarah some proper competition. Before leaving the stage, NQ Arbuckle also found themselves in the company of Justin Rutledge, Royal Wood and Caset Laforet, who did justice to tunes by Arcade Fire, Sam Roberts and Corb Lund respectively.

With the room growing so warm that the walls were sweating, the stage was next handed over to Order of Good Cheer, who worked up a heavy sweat of their own while pounding out tunes with Slean and members of The Stills, The Two Koreas and Zeus, who broke loose on renditions from the likes of Metric and Sam Roberts once again. Unchecked inhibition and intoxication had the audience singing along to a cover of Nickleback's "How you Remind Me" which was, as the group admitted, a definitive Canadian song of the decade, "Whether we like it or not." Before the band left the stage, Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew came forward as the Broken Social Scene contingent, highlighting the night with gems from Wolf Parade, Hot Hot Heat and Jason Collett.

As midnight became a distant memory, the show kept plugging on, and there were plenty more memories made before the crowd was ushered back onto Queen Street. K-os stepped away from rap to show a startling talent for rock as he joined members of Billy Talent to perform one of their tunes. Sebastian Grainger ended up back on-stage to belt out another of the band's hits, and Flashlight Brown wrapped up the night with a couple songs of their own.

When all was said and done, with bedtimes long forgotten and clothes long-since soaked through, the final night of Juno Decades brought something palpable and lasting to a few hundred fans who before had likely seen The Junos as a night of speeches in some far-off amphitheatre; the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd united to bounce and sweat and sing together in their own exclusive celebration of the great talent that Canada has to offer.

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