Young Empires

It was a random night when I got an email about a private Young Empires concert in Toronto. Before I even finished reading the email I knew that I needed to be there. It was not a typical concert as the East United Condos put on a contest for their public launch. They were playing off the whole West Vs East thing that’s always a debate at Toronto bars as drunken restaurant goers chow down on a plate of nachos. The contest was to show off your East end Toronto pride with a picture on Instagram. And the person with the most likes got a private concert with the Young Empires for them and 30 of their friends. So I head out to the six on a beautiful Thursday not knowing what to expect from the night. Once down town I grabbed a passion fruit tea lemonade from Starbucks as I stole some of their wifi.

I then started my trek down Adelaide Street on the search for the East United Condo presentation centre. Finally after about 20 minutes I reach my destination as I see a few people already mingling outside the building. I sit down as I try to get a hold of my contact. After about a few minutes one of the nicest people I’ve ever met at an event introduces herself to me. Her name is Danielle she is with the PR firm helping to put this event on.

She takes me into the presentation centre where the band is hanging out and getting interviewed. While in the green room I meet the two session musicians that the Young Empires have now added to their live show. Super nice guys and they already knew about Ride The Tempo so that was super cool. I was only expecting to review the show and didn’t think I would have the chance to interview the band. But when the opportunity came up to talk with Matt I obviously jumped at it.

This is a different kind of concert what do you think about this event so far?

“I think for these event organisers to host a party for one lucky guest is pretty unreal and for us it’s a little strange playing for such a small group of people. But it’s a nice summer night, free beer, outdoor parking lot, it’s pretty fun!”

So currently your tour is going on. Earlier you were telling me that Vancouver was a really great show. Where else has been good for you guys?

“Victoria was really good! Things are really picking up on the west coast for us and were really excited to go back.”

Do you have any crazy concert stories so far?

“Nothing that I can say publicly.”

If someone has never seen you guys play live before what can they expect?

“I think they can expect a lot of energy, weird sounds, good looking dudes on stage and just a lot of fun.”

And that’s exactly what I saw on stage that Thursday night. After talking with Matt from the Young Empires for a few more minutes Danielle lead me outside to the parking lot. Once outside she introduced me to Leslie Marlowe who is the president of Berkshire Axis Development the people putting up the condos. We talked for a few minutes about how this event got started and then end up talking about our tastes in music. He talks about how he loves rock and roll from the 70’s but is also in love with Metric. I agree Metric is amazing.

After talking for a few minutes he points me over to the beer line. I soon find out it is a free beer event. My whole life changes when I realise this! I’ve always heard about events where they give away free beer but I’ve never been to one myself. So this was already the best concert in my books. I grab a Mill Street and head to the front of the stage. The band takes the small stage in the middle of this parking lot. It’s a beautiful night as the stage backs onto this lonely wall which is partly covered in graffiti.

The crowd gather as Leslie Marlowe makes a quick speech before The Young Empires flood the night sky with sounds of our youth. I’ve never seen them play live before and man did they ever make a great first impression. They played many of their new songs like “The Gates”, “So Cruel” and my personal favourite “Uncover Your Eyes”. That’s my jam! Their energy captivated the small crowd getting every single person smiling and dancing the whole time. After about 40 minutes on stage they end on a high note with one of their fan favourites “White Doves”, the song you heard all over the radio a couple of years ago.

After the band ended their set I went back for another beer before I headed home. Just before I left I had to say bye to Danielle and thank her for everything. As I was about to leave we started to get into a conversation and she introduced me to her friend who is also a blogger. Time flew as her friend Kat and I got locked into a great conversation about blogging and bands. I come to find out that she also represents a great up and coming band called Boat Culture. After a few more minutes talking about music (I could go on for days!) I head out to meet my friends.

I said bye to Danielle and leave the small random parking lot somewhere on the east end of the city. Honestly this was one of the coolest events I’ve ever been invited too. So I want to take the time to say thank you to East United Condos for putting on this event and for having us. And a HUGE thank you to Danielle for inviting us and being such a great host! Man, what a night.       

Photo courtesy of East United and Geoff Fitzgerald