Lifestyle Magazine

GTA Music City: Musicounts at The Phoenix Concert Theatre

By Phjoshua @thereviewsarein

Thursday night we joined Canadian music fans and supporters at The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto in support of MusiCounts.

Musicounts 2016
With a great lineup of Canadian talent on stage, nobody in the audience was disappointed with what they heard, or why they showed up on a less than stellar winter weather night. There was singing and dancing and laughter as the night went on, and we are very glad that we were there to take it all in.

MusiCounts does great work bringing music to schools and communities where it’s needed most. Their belief that music can be used as a tool to benefit children of all ages and abilities is one we share… it’s why we ran our TILT fundraising campaign in 2015, why we were happy to the at The Phoenix on Thursday, and why we’ll continue to support one of our favorite Canadian charities.

The night of music kicked off with a drumline performance by the 5 dudes of Hitmen Drumline… they played their way into the theatre, marched and danced and played all over the space, and then played their way out again after an impressive performance of speed and rhythm.

And then, after a few words from the evening’s hosts Steve Anthony (CP24) and Talia Schlanger (CBC Radio 2), the stage got its first action when, Juno nominated, God Made Me Funky plugged in and started a party.

Leah Daniels God Made Me Funky Musicounts 2016
Accompanied by our pal Leah Daniels, God Made Me Funky put the audience through their paces with uptempo covers of Uptown Funk, Forget You, Get Lucky, Twist & Shout, Shake It Off, and more. The 8 people on stage made for a full and deep sound that was a lot of fun and filled the room.

Lee Aaron Musicounts 2016
And in a trend that would continue throughout the night, God Made Me Funky invited 2 special guests to share the stage before they left. 1st, Simone Denny of Love Inc. came up to grab a microphone and belted out 90’s hit Broken Bones to the delight of all of us old enough to remember dancing to it… and then 80’s rocker Lee Aaron jumped in to take over and gave us all a punch with an awesome rendition of her 1989 hit Watcha Do To My Body!

After a quick break to look around at the silent auction items (guitar signed by Blue Rodeo, WayHome VIP pack, Arts & Crafts package, Nick Jonas/Demi Lovato tickets, etc.) the music continued when The Elwins started playing for us.

The Elwins 2 Musicounts 2016
The boys joked and sang and played their hearts out to a crowd that had started to find their groove, and tracks like It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over, Bringing Out The Shoulders, and their cover of Beyonce’s Countdown (complete with crowd participation) made sure that nobody was sitting quietly on their hands, but truly involved in a live music event.

Finishing the night on stage, with more surprises, was Bucket List. This group of accomplished session musicians filled the stage, with no fewer than 10 people on stage at any given time they had a Broken Social Scene feel as new members stepped into lead singing roles, picked up new instruments, and went with the flow of the set.

They kicked off their set with Bowie’s Let’s Dance, added Springsteen’s Born To Run, and kept the good times going from there.

Joey Landreth with Bucket List Musicounts 2016
Special guest #1 popped up early as Joey Landreth, from The Bros. Landreth grabbed a guitar and microphone and wailed without so much as a warm up. If you aren’t familiar with The Bros. Landreth yet, you’re missing out… get on that when you’re done here.

Special guest #2 came up a short time later… after we got to hear Listen To The Music and Take It Easy… MusiCounts Director, Vanessa Thomas wowed the crowd with Pat Benatar’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot! It’s always cool when people who run organizations are into the product, and that performance showed us that Vanessa is into music.

John Tory The Hockey Song Musicounts 2016
Special guest #3 was none other that Mayor John Tory who took on the role of Stompin’ John to help with Canadian classic, The Hockey Song. The mayor didn’t seem to do a lot of singing… but he was happy to be up there, especially since he was also sharing the stage with his son Chris, who was in the band.

Special guest #4 was co-host Talia Schlanger, and she knows what she’s doing when it’s time to sing, so nobody had a complaint to make at all! When Canadian talent gets together to celebrate music, you can hear the smiles in the sound, and that’s what happened when Talia sang.

All said, Thursday night was a great night for Canadian music and for MusiCounts. I don’t know how many dollars were raised, but each and every one of them (and more) belong with that charity as they continue to make a difference in the lives of children using the power of music.

Check them out online at and keep being awesome!

Bucket List Let's Dance Musicounts 2016
Vanessa Thomas Musicounts Director 2016
God Made Me Funky Musicounts 2016 1
The Elwins Musicounts 2016
Simone Denny with God Made Me Funky Musicounts 2016

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