As a horde of eager students braved the biting winter winds to catch the second Sound Summit at the Blind Duck, the lights were dimmed and what was once an ordinary space transformed into a venue.
Advance tickets were half-price, but even the tickets that became available when the doors opened last Thursday at 9 p.m. were still an affordable $10—and the first 50 attendees got a free drink with their ticket. Some of the approximately 225 attendees were also given free T-shirts and miniature containers of Play-Doh as they were launched into the crowd. The $1,425 in proceeds went to support Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto.
Half an hour after the doors opened, indie pop electronic band Valley opened the show with a few crowd-pleasers and a few originals. Valley, whose five members hail from Oakville and Burlington, sound like they draw influences from the likes of the Arkells, Hans Zimmer, and Phil Collins. As the lights flashed on the stage and walls, the crowd really got into the groove.
River Groves, a four-member garage punk indie group with roots in Mississauga, was the second to hit the stage. The band reminded me of Billy Talent, the Hives, and DFA 1979. They performed a set of originals, including their most recent single, “Mexico”. Devoted fans and others in the audience sang along to their favourite songs.
Odd Ones (the band formerly known as J’nai) seized the energy and turned it up a notch. The Mississauga band comprised four members, with lead singer Jeanette Ricasio being a recent graduate of UTM. The progressive alternative pop rock style shows the influence of Paramore and the Pretty Reckless. They performed a few covers, including Billy Talent’s “Devil on my Shoulder”, as well as a few originals, and electrified the stage with a fun and loud presence, incredible guitar solos, and strong vocals.
Morakoza, formerly known as Go Diana, finished the night on a high note. The band accurately described their style as “true party rock… mixing atmospheric, textured guitars with hard club rhythms and electronics”. The four Mississauga-born musicians’ music mellowed down the night with a unique mixture of voice, keyboard, and beats.
By around 1 in the morning, the Sound Summit winner was picked through crowd response. An executive from CFRE announced the bands in playing order, with a listen for which band received the most enthusiastic applause.
Morakoza won the grand prize of a $200 Long & McQuade gift card, $140 worth of L&M rental vouchers, and a $100 gift card to Entripy. Runners-up Valley, River Groves, and Odd Ones each won $120 worth of L&M rental vouchers and a $50 gift card to Entripy.
This is Sound Summit’s second year, organized by ICCIT Council and CFRE with help from Residence Council and UTMAC, and drew students from our campus as well as from St. George, and even a few parents.
“I had always wondered why we didn’t have a concert, so I just decided to begin organizing it myself,” said Ray Khan, the president of ICCIT Council. He brought a “two-page proposal” to CFRE and “ever since then, CFRE and ICCIT Council [have] worked closely and the concept has evolved to so much more than originally intended.”
Marian Penetrante, the council’s public relations director, said the event would be one of their major events next year as well.