Who: Joob feat. Funky Fil and Fatsound; The Corsets; Edgewater Hotel (for Headquarters Cooperative)
Where: Coalition T.O., Toronto
When: Friday, 19 September 2014
In One Word: Multifaceted
In a basement bar just within Kensington Market, Headquarters Cooperative launched their new products and their status as the supergroup to watch in the Toronto music scene.
The neon-blue light of Coalition T.O.’s sign cast a glow upon the many supporters of this homegrown operation, almost proving as a teaser for the work inside by Neuromantix. The blacklight display artwork by Cesar Ar provided the backdrop for the event; a unique group needs a unique performance space, of course.
Headquarters Cooperative is a collective of local musicians dedicated to producing original music and coordinating/hosting local events throughout the city. Bringing fans and musicians together in one innovative endeavour, Headquarters spurs the resurgence of the Toronto music scene to reawaken the cooperative effort involved in making said scene thrive once again.
Bands currently on the Headquarters roster include The Lifts, Ginger Ale & the Monowhales, The Corsets, and Edgewater Hotel.
Hitting the blacklit stage first was Toronto’s Joob, featuring Funky Fil and Fatsound. Predominently instrumental, the set was full of Jimi Hendrix-esque tunes, providing the perfect psychedelic soundtrack to fit the bill and backdrop. Their set was a tight 20 minutes of wild guitar sounds and intricate musical interludes between vocals. At times it appeared as though Joob (guitar and vocals) wasn’t so much strumming, but merely grazing the strings and relying on fretwork to create the unique sound through guitar.
In a complete 180 degree change of style, The Corsets took the stage by storm. The heavier rock outfit challenged the psychedelic sound by Joob, and produced a harder set. The blues-rock band from Erin, ON (now located in Toronto) presents a diverse and entrancing collection of tunes, driven by pounding drums and gritty guitar which coalesce with the smooth vocals. “Can I Get a Piece of You” contains all the right pieces to make the song an instant crowd-pleasing hit – starting somewhat slow before launching into an all-out head-bang worthy jam with distorted guitar sounds and an instant hook – it’s impossible to stand still while watching The Corsets perform (so get to the front of the stage, or get out).
The third and final band of the night can be described as an amalgamation of the two former. Edgewater Hotel is 2014’s solution to the singular rock sound. While establishing their harder rock roots, Toronto’s own Edgewater Hotel doles out a healthy dose of contemporary jazz sounds, dreamy psychedelic synth and some of the pop sensibility that gives listeners a sense familiarity. Rachel Vandezande’s impressive vocal range is on the forefront in songs like “Black Market”, blending in perfect harmony with Megan Worthy’s backing vocals. Each song sounds like an entirely different style, making live performances refreshing and memorable.
Since their formation, the members of Headquarters Cooperative have been busy building their empire. Incorporating local artists, musicians, videographers and more, Headquarters Cooperative is quickly becoming a multi-platform go-to for the show-goers and music lovers in the city. With numerous events held each month, you’re sure to see the name pop up and have the opportunity to check out the talented and interesting acts on their roster.
© Megan Rach, Music Vice
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