TVD Radar: Various Artists, Live at Massey Hall Vol. 1 in stores now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “For Canadian performers, it’s a rite of passage. It’s not the biggest venue in the country’s largest city, by any stretch, but it’s easily the most important…”

With these liner notes, celebrated author Michael Barclay entrenches the storied past, present, and future musical history of Toronto’s Massey Hall. His words set the stage for a monumental new vinyl release series that captures the fascinating evolution of one of the world’s most venerated concert venues, a room that has housed timeless performances by everyone from Joni Mitchell to Glenn Gould since opening its doors in 1894.

To honour the evolution of the hallowed hall, and to distill its more recent magical nights, Arts & Crafts, in collaboration with Massey Hall, will release a series of special live albums from the Live at Massey Hall concert films, a new platform designed to spotlight Canada’s modern frontier of music legends. Arriving for the first time on November 23 in a beautiful vinyl package exclusively for Record Store Day Black Friday, Volume One of Live at Massey Hall compiles transcendent performances from ten indelible Canadian artists captured between July 10, 2014, and December 8, 2017.

In anticipation of the November 23 RSD Black Friday release, Whitehorse has debuted the Live at Massey Hall concert film from that enchanting December 8, 2017 night. The harmonious duo of Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet has been a flagship artist of Massey Hall since their debut headlining show at the venue in 2013, an audacious booking for the then relatively new band that partially inspired this whole series. Featuring their album-stopping performance of “Die Alone,” Whitehorse embodies the high sonic and emotional ceilings of the age-old Hall with a rendition that richly unfolds in a lonesome resonance that slowly stops time.

“Massey Hall is thrilled to participate in this Friday’s, Record Store Day with our first ever vinyl release and collaboration with our friends at Arts & Crafts,” says Deane Cameron, Massey Hall President & CEO. “It is our hope that this vinyl series will continue to showcase the immense musical talent who have performed on our stage for the Live at Massey Hall concert film series, as well as help drive music fans coast-to-coast out this Friday to support their local record shop.”

The record opens with Destroyer alone onstage with his acoustic guitar and elegant poetry, every nuance of his voice and strings filling the silence of the hall. Constantines taps into its punk rock gospel essence with spine-tingling call-and-response. Hayden channels the pulse of the city he came up in, invoking his early days as a performer and a phone call from Massey Hall hero Neil Young. Dan Mangan + Blacksmith stretches the experimental boundaries of against-the-grain folk, while Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton counters the stadium pop of her band Metric with Haines’ own deeper narratives.

Side two opens with the masterfully crafted storytelling of Regina, Saskatchewan’s Andy Shauf, followed by francophone Québecois artist Cœur de pirate’s incredible ascension to a sold-out Massey Hall. Bahamas delivers a pin-drop performance of precise songcraft and gorgeous restraint. Japandroids literally bring the house down with the aptly titled “The House That Heaven Built,” before Whitehorse drops the curtain with the heartrending and serene “Die Alone.”

“As diehard live music fans, it is an incredible honour for Arts & Crafts to take part in bringing this project to fruition,” says Arts & Crafts President Kieran Roy. “The immaculate quality of each performance is a testament to the distinct power of Massey Hall, a feeling that is no doubt shared by the countless crowds and artists alike that have made this our indisputable favourite place to witness live music.”

Arts & Crafts announces that $1 from every sale of this series will be donated to Massey Hall to support the Massey Hall Revitalization. A historic, refurbishment, restoration, and addition set to enhance Massey Hall by 2020, supporting patron and artist accessibility, restoration of key structures in the National Historic Site, and significant investment in artist development and community outreach. For more information about the Massey Hall Revitalization, go here.

Various Artists: Live at Massey Hall Vo.l 1
Tracklisting:

Destroyer “Foam Hands”
Constantines “Nighttime/Anytime (It’s Alright)”
Hayden “Almost Everything”
Dan Mangan + Blacksmith “Vessel”
Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton “Fatal Gift”
Andy Shauf “The Magician”
Cœur de pirate “Place de la République”
Bahamas “Like A Wind”
Japandroids “The House That Heaven Built”
Whitehorse “Die Alone”

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