The Kee to Bala...more like the "key to awesome music and a great party". That, along with the liveliness that is TIFF, brought some sweet tunes, cool covers, and profound performances with the one and only Classified, Toronto's Brendan Canning, Beliefs, and more.
Vacating the city more than needed in the summer, I'm shocked and appalled at myself for not knowing how amazing the Kee to Bala is. A venue that has hosted the greats like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, RUSH, and The Tragically Hip, this was one place I was highly looking forward to checking out. With a great Canadian hip hop artist wrapping up the summer with one hot and sweaty performance, Classified brought the house down in the best of ways.
Performing fan favourites "Maritimes", "That Ain't Classy", and the latest chart topper "Inner Ninja", Classified gave a plethora of energetic beats, flavorful rhymes, and crowd shout outs along with a Steve Miller Band cover of "The Joker". He even brought up a few fans on stage to rap along...some were amazing, others may have hit the bottle a bit to early that night. Nonetheless, the well-known rapper took it all in stride and invited everyone to join him for a joint on the patio after; any artist who offers that to an audience of hundreds is A+ in my books.
Right after capping off the summer, the insanity of TIFF ensued on the streets of Toronto with the Grolsch Open House bringing some amazing acts to the middle of all the action.
Set up on the corner of John and Pearl, this amazing patio attracted music and movie lovers alike to enjoy some cold bevs and fresh tunes. Indie influencer and Broken Social Scene co-founder, Brendan Canning, graced the stage alongside fellow BSS member Feist and Sloan's Chris Murphy for one outstanding performance on Saturday night. Sunday also brought an amazing band I was lucky to catch, Beliefs. With an edgy, raw sound over faded vocals that enter the "shoegazing" subgenre of alt rock, this is one act I'm sure we will be hearing more of after they wrap up a European tour this month.
All in all, an incredible way to bring summer to a close and kick off the Fall season in the city. Although we all may be in need of an escape from our beloved Toronto during the summer, I must say it is one impressive home to come back to with acts and events like that.
This weekend, I'm very happy to say that I will be checking out Arctic Monkeys at Kool Haus on Sunday and will have all the gritty details to come. Alex Turner, eat your heart out.