Massey Hall was but a dream this weekend. The third annual Dream Serenade took over the legendary venue Saturday night, bringing out some major headliners throughout the night. The event is run by Hayden Desser and wife Christie Greyerbieh, for the cause of benefiting Toronto’s Beverley Junior Public School, the Family Relief Fund and more GTA schools that support children with special needs.
This year’s show could not have been more remarkable, as the night started off with a surprise performance from Gord Downie, performing songs from his Secret Path release.
His band featured notable stars including Kevin Drew and Charles Spearin from Broken Social Scene, and Kevin Hearn from the Barenaked Ladies. The crowd was in awe of his spellbinding performance. Downie finished off his set urging the crowd to not celebrate the last 150 years of Canada, saying “it was time to start fresh”.
It was pretty much impossible to follow Downie’s stunning performance, but the rest of the night was chock full of other memorable highlights, including Hayden’s emotional cover of The Tragically Hip’s “Ahead by a Century”.
Another huge highlight came about when Amy Millan called out another surprise guest, Feist for a cover cover of the Kinks’ “Strangers”.
Dan Mangan performed solo acoustic and lead the entire house in a sing-along, which had everyone warm and fuzzy.
The night was capped off with the re-formation of Broken Social Scene, including Feist and Amy Millan.
The band played some of their classic songs including “Lover’s Spit” and “Anthems for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl”. They also played a new song from their forthcoming album that showcased a new lead female vocalist Ariel Engle.
It was a special night for music in Toronto.
In celebration for the 15th anniversary of Broken Social Scene’s debut record Feel Good Lost, the band is releasing a reissue of the monumental rock album while we wait for their upcoming one. The new pressing, remastered by Noah Mintz will arrive digitally and on vinyl November 11th via Arts & Crafts. Pre-order it here.
All photos courtesy Jag Gundu via Massey Hall archives