Every year at Canadian Music Week, CHUM holds Fan Fest, a gathering of some of the biggest artists to put on a performance for contest winners. This concert is so exclusive, you can’t even buy tickets to it, you have to win them from CHUM 104.5 FM. It is a fully catered, open bar event which is always sure to impress! The acts each play about four songs; this year, performers included Danny Fernandes, Hedley, Faber Drive, Girlicious, Karl Wolf, Stereos, and Daughtry. Joey McIntyre of New Kids on the Block also made an appearance as originall scheduled Ke$ha was unable to make the performance. With that said, Joey did reassure the crowd that he too wakes up in the morning feeling like P Diddy.
Danny Fernandes took the stage first and, aside from some slightly homoerotic dancing on the part of his backups, the performance was quite entertaining. He performed his singles as well as covered Mario’s “Let Me Love You” with an incredible guitarist who was able to drop a beat with his hand on the guitar while picking the strings. Pretty incredible stuff.
Next up was what I considered to be the main act, Hedley. They put on an expectedly-crazy show, frontman Jacob Hoggart dancing around flailing his arms and spinning around like a carousel for no reason whatsoever. It was certainly the most energetic performance I have ever seen and I can only imagine what a full show would be like! It was visceral, sweaty, and spinny, with Jacob grabbing cameras from audience members, throwing underwear that actually touched his special place, and signing, or should I say wrecking, someone’s autograph book. He did offer some valuable insight though: “I didn’t know why they had hand sanitizer in the back,” he said, adding “Girlicious is here; it all makes sense now.” Ouch, Jacob. Ouch.
Speaking of Girlicious: eww. For lack of a better description, their performance was nothing short of disgusting. Oversexed, slutty, and irrelevant. Not bad music (by no means great music, however), and just look at Natalie’s pants! No wonder she’s on crack. They don’t deserve any more words.
Faber Drive followed the ladies of Girlicious and played their biggest hits, including G-Get Up and Dance! to a roaring crowd. These guys are like the smaller Hedley, but in a great way. Perhaps call them the more mellow version, but their music is equally catchy; these guys are awesome.
Wow, next came Karl Wolf. Now this was intense. He came running from backstage with a ridiculous intensity that took everyone by surprise and nearly shocked the crowd. In an interesting twist, he actually had the most energetic drumming all night. He sang all his best, including his new single Shiver, which is alright, but let’s face it: Karl Wolf will never have another Africa.
Stereos: Chipmunk that hit puberty. Well, okay, that’s not the whole story. The lead of Stereos, Pat, actually has quite the voice when singing acoustically, and I just wish they would highlight this more in the live shows. But the song goes the way the song goes, and sometimes you just can’t do Summer Girl without some auto-tune. Perhaps it was turned up a bit too much, because the audience should really hear his voice!
And last but not least was Daughtry. Here is a band that I (used to) have quite a bit of musical respect for, but a lot depends on a live show, and they just didn’t deliver. Perhaps it was the stigma of being a headliner and the build up leading to the last performer, but it’s never a good sign when people start leaving after the supposed headliner plays two songs.
The show was a resounding success and may very well be the best concert I’ve been to in a very long time. See you at Fan Fest 2011!