Ryn Weaver, SonReal, The Franklin Electric, COASTS, K.I.D. and Milk & Bone @ The Great Hall 5/8/2015 #CMW2015

I spent my Friday night of CMW at the Osheaga party at the Great Hall. It was filled with industry folks and the line-up was strong. I don’t know if it’s because I am getting older or the novelty has worn off but I didn’t club hop at all during CMW. I just picked a showcase and stuck it out for the whole thing. This particular one was worth it as all the acts were unique and impressive in their own way. Unfortunately, The Great Hall’s current capacity licenses and problems made for some awkward divide of the ground between the floors. Friends were often banished to the top even though the main floor was practically empty. I really hope that this problem gets fixed in time for NXNE.

Anwyay, the night started with the act that I was actually the most excited to see all week: Milk & Bone. Their album Little Mourning is one of my favourite records of the year so far. Laurence Lafond-Beaulne and Camille Poliquin were timid on their stage presence but when required they blew you away with the right notes and their effortless blend of R&B and electropop. While the majority of the set focused on record favourites like “New York”, “Coconut Water” and “Pressure”, they also tried out a brand new track which was warmly received.

Next up was K.I.D. (Kids In Despair), formerly known as something else but since deleted their old presence and rebranded themselves. They are they brainchild of brother and sister Kara and Bobby who sing about drugs (mostly weed) and their relationship with it in parties as well as it’s self-medicating use for depression. Somehow these topics are made into catchy tunes. Side note: Bobby is the creepiest dude drinking Sunny D I have ever seen.

I was then introduced to UK band COASTS who was a little bit too generic radio rock for my taste. It was too much quiet verse, bursting chorus formula over and over.

Montreal indie-folk band The Franklin Electric took over the stage next. Charismatic frontman Jon Matte on shifted between vocals, keyboard and trumpet. The highlight of the set was when the band jumped off stage at the very end to perform an unplugged tune as a hush audience surrounded them.

In the audience there were many people who were adorned with SonReal hats anticipating the Canadian rapper’s set. While all the acts Friday night could’ve been their own headliners, it seemed that the rapper had the most draw. Aaron Hoffman manically jumped about the stage as he spun out licks. He was super humble, constantly thanking the audience for allowing him to make a career out of doing what he loved.

My night ended with NYC singer Ryn Weaver making her Toronto debut. Those who stayed through the course of the long night were treated with Weaver delivering her songs like a pro with snarling vocals and a captivating stage presence, as if she’s been doing this all her life.

If this was a sneak peek inside what’s coming to Osheaga, those heading to Montreal are in for a special treat.