As we arrived at the final HumbleMania last night, there was an unmistakable laid-back vibe in the air at the Ossington. Although this is vibe that could be found every 2nd and 4th Wednesday for the past 2 years (think comfortable, relaxed and unpretentious), it was different last night. Perhaps it had something to do with Mike Juneau and Kyle McCreight’s endearing anticipation of hosting the final edition of this 50-long series. Or maybe it had something to do with the obvious excitement from the attendees (who wouldn’t be with face-paint / semi-formal dance party ahead.)
To capture the moments of last night and of past HumbleMania’s we decided to create a yearbook style post, in collaboration with Humble Empire, to share with our readers & HumbleManiac’s. Here we’ve collected some amazing experiences from faithful attendees, published first-timers’ lament over it being their first and also their last as well as borrowed some stand-out pictures from past events.
Below are a few sweet memories (we’re sure there are plenty more) that we hope will be re-read & shared for years to come! Cheers to 50 HumbleMania!
– The HumbleMania Yearbook –
“Best Mania memory? Probably post-Humble-pool-hopping to combat the dance sweat that gets worked up at by last call. Oh! & meeting Katie Monks (of Dilly Dally) for the 1st time after her one of her Humble sets (where they immediately became my favourite band in the city), then casually mentioning I needed a roommate and she replies she would if she could crash on our couch that night & then we were roommates for almost a year & remain close friends. It’s a pretty good portrait of the spirit of how open everybody who attended was and the anything-can-happen feel of those nights. No pretense whatsoever from the audience or the artists, I feel privileged to have been both.” – Nick Mckinlay, Nicholas Doubleyou & the B-Squad
“My fondest memory from HumbleMania was Nicholas Doubleyou and the B-Squad. That sexy stud of a man on saxophone makes my night, every night.” – Mitchell Foley
“I didn’t get to come too many times, but when I did, it was a BLAST! My favourite was when the video for Nicholas Doubleyou & The B-Squad was being shown. Thanks so much for all the effort that went into putting this on!” – Lauren Leprich
“There will be a hole on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the months to come. It was a relaxed community environment to visit, dance with, play for & get drunk beside. Good job bozos.” – Luke Lalonde, musician
“‘Bittersweet…Romantic, funny and far too fleeting. A bit like love…’ My first turns out to be my last… not by choice but by design.” – Chris Hewson, Visual Leader, Restoration Hardware
HumbleMania has provided me with some of the most memorable gigs I’ve ever played and witnessed. From the time B-Squad played in matching white dinner jackets to a throbbing crowd of what seemed like hundreds to the time we saw TPC play their entire first EP and let’s not forget the time Maylee Todd’s beautiful harp music caused me to accidentally fall asleep. Many friends and memories have been made every other Wednesday night and while I’m sad this is the end of HumbleMania, I’m looking oh-so forward to the next big HumbleRumble. – Brock Dale, B-Squad, Wicked Witched, JWB
“I remember seeing a picture of me on Instagram the next day and I was passed out on the sidewalk” – Eric Da Silva, remembering HumbleMania 49
HumbleMania. The best kept Wednesday night secret in the city.
Every two weeks, MJ and the Humble Empire crew filled the Ossington with great bands, brand new video releases (from his Live in Bellwoods project), and provided sweaty dance music from their incredibly impressive all-vinyl record collection. And he never asked for cover. “Simply Pay what you can, folks.”
I remember showing up on our bikes one night (there must have been ten of us riding down together). We crammed through the doors and were greeted by a noisy crowd of people, each one getting their face painted and singing along to Biggie.
We sang, we listened and we danced. If there was ever a competition for the biggest little party in the city, HumbleMania would take the crown. And I mean that in the most endearing, heartfelt, “we’re gonna fucking miss you,” way. – Dave Lock, Music Parlour
“HumbleMania is a wonderful, awkward, wonderfully awkward experience.” – Bethany Daniels
As the bartenders could attest, I have left my credit card behind at about five Humblemanias. That’s not a joke. If that isn’t a sign of a good event, I don’t know what is. The masterful combination of video screenings, cool live bands and a packed dance floor couldn’t have been an easy trick to pull off. I’m convinced the secret remains hidden somewhere inside either Kyle’s beard or Mike’s hair. – Jared Raab, Echo Pictures
Kids & Explosions
“The sound, the sweat, the emotion, the energy, on both sides of the stage. Truly wonderful, I love them all.” – Paul Richardson
“Right before Christmas (Humble 12?!?) I was on drums, surround by best friends. Perfect drums, perfect dance party… I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be in this world.” – Alana Leprich
Bands play in the back
Vinyl spins out front all night
- Lauren Goodman (HumbleManiac)
Sway of Freedom or Death
After Sizzle Chest moved away to Huntsville, I became the dude at Humblemania that would watch the door and politely ask people to pay what they could. It was a great job… I’d get paid in beer and a wicked party, every time.
I suppose my fondest memories of Humblemania are based from my view of the events, from that chair. It was always fun to see friends come in and meet people I hadn’t yet, who would then in turn come back the next time and then they’d be friends. I also loved seeing friends enter the event promising, “I’m only going to stay for a while,” and then, hours later, see them dancing to Paul McCartney or Maria Carey or some band, drunk as hell. I’m really going to miss seeing Mike, Kyle and Nick spinning their tunes.
I wonder what’s in store for the future?
– Spencer MacEachern, The Fabulous Yawn
Spencer also wanted to add this:
So many women, yeah
I sit at the door, greeting
- Door guy Spencer xoxo
Still Life Still
My HumbleMania memory is the night that we blew the speakers and lost all the bass, it was maybe HumbleMania X and it was the only dance party that ended short. Mike was convinced it was the last Mania ever. – Kyle McCreight, Humble Empire
HumbleMania means to me, a whole heck of a lot. It means a guaranteed great night surrounded by my favourite people and music. When it started, I wanted the night to feature three very important things that I thought our city needed more of: intimate performances, vinyl DJ’s and dancing. The recipe worked and after our first night we were running. It’s really been an honour to get to share the music I love with so many friends and strangers. Mania gave me a place to create something special and I feel like it helped grow a community, with musicians and music lovers all packed together talking, drinking, singing, dancing, and listening.
The success is on the shoulders of so many people, and I really want to thank everyone who came out and came back. To everyone who listened when the band was playing and danced with the records spun. To every musician who graced us with their talent and shared their music for whatever amount was paid at the door. To the bartenders who have always been so good to us and all the people asking for more.
If Beatlemania never dies, and Hulkamania lives forever, HumbleMania will be back.
- Mike Juneau, Humble Empire
HumbleMania 50 photos by Andrew Williamson
All other photos from Next World Champ