Concerts Concerts CMF 2012: CMW Opening Night Gala

CMF 2012: CMW Opening Night Gala

The Joel Plaskett Emergency at the CN Tower
CMW Opening Night Gala
Joel Plaskett Emergency, Ben Caplan
CN Tower in Toronto, ON
March 21, 2012

Photos and Review by: Pete Nema

Canadian Music Week officially opened with an invite-only gala held 346 metres above the city in the CN Tower and featured the Joel Plaskett Emergency and Ben Caplan.

Joel Plaskett Emergency

With his new album, Scrappy Happiness, released just a week before the start of CMW, I was expecting to hear some of Plaskett's new material, however, I wasn't sure what to expect from his performance... partly because the show took place at the early hour of 6:00pm but also because the audience was nearly all industry, it wasn't like they had paid to see him perform. I was a fool for even thinking about it because at least half of the people in the room were huge fans, just like me. On top of that, it's not like Joel to give a half-assed performance, and so the set was filled with lean Plaskett energy, big guitar, and rocking out that brought his head dangerously close to the ceiling more than once. If what we saw was just a taste of what Plaskett has in store for his upcoming Toronto show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on May 18th, I can't emphasize enough how much you should be there.

The Joel Plaskett Emergency at the CN Tower   The Joel Plaskett Emergency at the CN Tower   The Joel Plaskett Emergency at the CN Tower   The Joel Plaskett Emergency at the CN Tower   The Joel Plaskett Emergency at the CN Tower   The Joel Plaskett Emergency at the CN Tower   The Joel Plaskett Emergency at the CN Tower   The Joel Plaskett Emergency at the CN Tower   The Joel Plaskett Emergency at the CN Tower   The Joel Plaskett Emergency at the CN Tower  

Ben Caplan

I had heard a lot about Ben Caplan, and given his noticeably large collection of hair, I had seen him out at shows more than once in the past, but I just hadn't crossed paths with his live show. Speaking to him beforehand, he admitted to having butterflies in his stomach; I suspect it was partly the early hour, but also the density of both video and still cameras waiting around the stage. It must not have lasted long, though, because once he was in front of the crowd, his amiable and likable personality was out in full force. Although he normally plays with a full-band, his set at the CN Tower was just him and a guitar. It was actually a good way to be introduced to his music, allowing me to hear the foundation of his compositions. The entire set was enjoyable both in terms of music and between-song banter, and convinced me that seeing him play with his band and fans present is something I should do sooner than later.

Ben Caplan at the CN Tower   Ben Caplan at the CN Tower   Ben Caplan at the CN Tower   Ben Caplan at the CN Tower   Ben Caplan at the CN Tower