As a Swede, my first relation to this town, was the legendary Swedish hockey player Börje Salming who played in the NHL team Toronto Maple Leafs during the 70´s and 80´s.
But that didn´t stop me from being a Boston Bruins fan, however I have deep respect for Toronto Maple Leafs because it´s one of the original six league members along with Chicago Black Hawks, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins.
When it comes to music, my first contact with the most populous city in Canada, was the introduction of the 1976 live album "All the world´s a stage" with the classic phrase -Hello and please welcome home, Rush!
The live album was recorded at Massey Hall in Toronto and it was the start for me being a long-time fan of this beloved trio that has fans all over the world. (Other famous artists that has recorded their live albums at Massey Hall are Neil Young, Matthew Good, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie).
By listening to Rush, it also got me more interested in rock music from Canada because up to 1976, I was mainly listening to bands from England and the U.S.
Rush might be the biggest band from Toronto but this city has a lot to offer for music lovers, whether you´re a heavy metal fan and love Anvil, Lee Aaron or rather prefer melodic rock like Coney Hatch, Wrabit and Triumph. They are all top quality bands from the big city by the Lake Ontario.
was a relatively unknown singer/songwriter/guitarist on the local Toronto scene in September of ’75 when he joined a newly-formed hard rock trio called Triumph. By ’79 three albums had gone platinum in Canada and two charted in the States, receiving serious radio airplay. By ’81 Triumph was firmly established as one of the premier touring rock acts in North America, with generous FM radio airplay support and heavy rotation on the fledgling MTV cable channel. In the next seven years, the band released ten gold albums, with four turning platinum in Canada. In the U.S., two went gold.
What musicians from Toronto inspired you to work with music?
The band is fronted by Ann Burstyn and with a new album coming out on May 1st called On The Other Side, the Palace of Rock felt we needed to ask the question :
Ann Burstyn - The Toronto music scene is not what it used to be but really, that’s to be expected. We’re not in the 80’s any longer. The nostalgic lot of us wishes it was perhaps but yet, here we are. The bad news is that so many of our beloved clubs have closed due to many reasons (mostly financial and younger demographics) but the good news is music is definitely alive and well, even here in the TO!
There is room for many successful cover/tribute acts in various remaining venues around the city. For those aforementioned “nostalgic” folks, you can still hear some of your fave bands from the past but in tribute fashion, such as Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Dio, Pat Benatar, Heart etc. Although it’s not the same as the real acts, the experience can still be much the same. If you’re into new music, the Indie Scene is a great place to look! Indie Music Week is an excellent place to find new treasures! There are bands of every genre and even bands that blend many genres together to create their own unique sound. Most TO residents will always think of RUSH as THE Toronto band. Yes, they are still around making great music but likely will be touring less and with a new drummer. But some of the newer acts such as Big Wreck, Drake, Harem Scarem, Metric, Bruno Mars, Broken Social Circle Scene, The Weekend, along with others, are here to carry the torch. I personally give them all much respect and wish them the best of success today and into the future.
Toronto has always been very diverse in culture and that shines through in the variety of artists/music genres these acts provide. If one is looking for the BIG concert feel, the ACC, Roger’s Centre, Massey Hall, Molson Ampitheatre, Budweiser Stage, Sony Centre For Performing Arts, Sound Academy, and the Danforth Music Hall are the perfect venues to check out. Some acts on their rosters for 2017 are Bon Jovi, John Mayer, U2, Kings Of Leon, One Republic, Bruno Mars, Bob Dylan, and Tim McGraw/Faith Hill, to name just a few. We can’t forget live Musical Theatre! Musicals are very much still a Toronto highlight. Some of the shows on that front are The BodyGuard, The Book Of Morman, The Sound Of Music, Mary Poppins, Pokemon, and many more.
We still have quite number of great clubs to satisfy your live band music thirst are: College Street Bar, Lee’s Palace, The Phoenix, The Mod Club, The Drake, The Rockpile, Horseshoe Tavern, Groove Bar & Grill, The Resevoir Lounge, The Silver Dollar, The Rex, Sneaky Dee’s, and Velvet Underground.
So there you have it! If you ask me, yes, the Toronto Music scene has changed but it still thriving BUT to keep it that way here’s a favorite and important quote we often say and hear around these parts: “Support Your Live Music Scene!” I cannot stress that enough. See you out there
Sheriff (melodic rock)