Tag Archives: festival
So, this was the second ever WayHome Festival, and also my second time attending Ontario’s version of Bonnaroo.
If last year was the trial run, this year was smooth sailing all the way through. That said, there were very few kinks last year – the only one I really remember being Passion Pit having to cancel last minute only to be replaced with my faves Broken Social Scene. This was easily the highlight of last year for me, aside from seeing Neil Young play an incredible 3 hour set.
Due to work obligations, we arrived at Oro-Medonte this year on Friday evening, making it inside the festival grounds just in time to catch LCD Soundsystem – the band of the weekend.
We were still setting up our tent when we heard the opening notes to “Us V Them” and decided our tent was functional enough that we would survive the night with it as is. On the walk over, they played the one song my friend knew of theirs, “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House.” I was excited to watch him witness the greatness that is LCD, despite the fact that he honestly had them confused with the horrific band, LMFAO.
Once inside, they played “I Can Change,” and the moment I had been waiting for for six years finally arrived. Finally seeing LCD Soundsystem live was everything I had always expected it would be, and more.
Every time the opening riff for one of my favorite songs came on I looked back at my friend and exclaimed “This is my song!” Eventually, I sounded like a broken record. There is probably something quite annoying about someone explaining songs you’ve never heard before to you while you’re hearing them for the first time, but he was good sport, enduring my unending excitement/soundbites.
Songs 9 through 14 were essentially all my songs. The heartbreaking “Someone Great” was followed by “Losing My Edge,” which I excitedly summarized for him during the opening 10 seconds. It has long been a classic LCD song –and it is easily one of my songs– but to experience it with someone who was so into it at first listen that he demanded we sit and discuss it after the set, was something I’ll always remember.
“New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” came on soon after, and I reveled in the feelings it always gives me toward my New York, Toronto. “But you’re still the one pool where I’d happily drown,” indeed.
Throughout the entire set, I was waiting for one song, which many would consider the song. When they briefly exited I was terrified for a split second that I wouldn’t get to hear it, but I knew that would be absolutely insane. They returned, and played a stunning version of “Dance Yrself Clean” and then came the moment that validated our rush hour arrival: “All My Friends.”
The opening notes hit the airwaves, and I COULD FINALLY exclaim, “THIS. THIS is my song. For real this time. This is the song.” And I danced, and sang along to every word, and cried, and enjoyed every goddamn second of it. It was glorious.
Day 2 was a little quieter due to hanging out at the tent with new camp friends and getting a little distracted by delicious Smirnoff Electric drinks we happily shared with our neighbours. They have easily become my drink of the summer (try the Electric Berry if you like sweeter drinks, the Electric Citrus if you prefer sour). Smirnoff also had an installation at WayHome, the Smirnoff Sound Collective, where they had live performances from electronic artists throughout the festival.
Once inside, I caught an incredible set by M83. Due to my friend being a huge Arctic Monkeys fan, we left early to catch Alex Turner’s other group – The Last Shadow Puppets. Personally, I was not feeling this set, it was the definition of rock and roll cliche, and beyond their obnoxious stage presence it did nothing for me sonically – but I see how their fans love it. It was certainly high energy.
Arcade Fire’s highly anticipated set was next, and having previously seen them play at Massey Hall and Bonnaroo in their early years, I knew they would be giving one of the most memorable performances of the festival.
A huge highlight was their quick cover of Springsteen’s “Born In the USA” before going into “Keep The Car Running,” a very Bruce-y track from Neon Bible.
Of course they saved all their best work (i.e. Funeral) for the end, with “Haiti” followed by “Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels),” “Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out),” “Rebellion (Lies),” with a quick change to “Here Comes The Nighttime.” They saved their greatest song of all time, “Wake Up,” for the finale – exploding confetti, fireworks and all. Due to the logistics of having no cell service at WayHome and losing my friend in the crowd, this set was not the highlight of WayHome for me that it might have been otherwise, but that is irrelevant to their spectacular performance. They played flawlessly and it was even more of a spectacle than it was back at Bonnaroo–although little blue lights didn’t drop from the sky this time.
After miraculously reuniting with my lost compadre, we overheard some of Savages set before heading to see Patrick Watson, who had a late start but made up for it by playing until 2am. It was the perfect way to reverse what ended up being a bit of a stressful evening, and it finally made me a full blown fan after hearing only good things for many years. He is incredibly funny, a talented performer, and very much worth seeing live any chance you get. The late night set under the stars was one I will compare many musicians to for years to come.
Day 3 arrived and while we were determined to see Stars, sleeping in after a late night and packing up left us missing their early set.
We did manage to make it inside in time for Black Mountain. I’ve seen Stephen McBean perform before, but always as Pink Moutaintops, so it was exciting to finally see the band in this formation, especially since their recently released IV is one of the most beautiful albums of the year so far. They played the secluded, shady forest stage, which was the perfect environment for this hippy Vancouver band to showcase their space aged concept record.
We followed it with The Arcs, (Dan Auerbach’s non-Black Keys outfit) that thankfully, sounds just as great as the Black Keys. It was a blazingly hot day at the WayBold stage which has absolutely no shade, which I think accounted for the less than energetic crowd.
Next up was Haim, the band I was most excited to see on Sunday. I had yet to see these sisters live so my expectations were high, after having fallen in love with Days Are Gone back in 2013. I must admit I wasn’t quite as blown away by them live as I had expected I would be. But it was still excellent to finally hear so many songs I’ve adored over the past few years live.
While I otherwise would have headed to see Ray Lamontagne next, with the festival winding down, I still hadn’t taken a trip on the Ferris wheel–so we overheard Glass Animals set while waiting in the lineup, and signed our life away for a spectacular view of the festival.
While I would have been fine leaving during the Killers set in order to get home to our real beds, we decided to stay for the finale. Again, Brandon redeemed himself from the terrible performance I have burned in my memory from their Hot Fuss tour. They gave a great show and it was fun to have a band we could both sing along to, all cool points aside.
Overall, it was an incredibly well organized, delightful festival, and they managed to build on what they started last year to create an Ontario festival that will certainly stand the test of time.
I love WayHome, and I miss it already. Until next year.
Happy Canada Day, friends! In honour of this great holiday, I have a giveaway I’m particularly excited for.
I LOVE TURF! If you went last year you’ll know it’s exactly the kind of festival Toronto was missing out on for so long. It is how I spent my birthday last year, and I will be doing the same this year (what up America, I share your day of birth).
If you want to go, well, I can at least help you get into Saturday’s lineup, care of Sam Roberts very kind team.
Along with a pair of tickets to TURF Saturday, you will also get a copy of his new album Lo-Fantasy as well as a t-shirt.
To win, just subscribe to the upcoming weekly newsletter using the form below. Be sure to confirm your subscription by clicking the link in the email you will receive, or you will not actually be entered to win. If you are already a subscriber and want to enter, just comment below using the email address you used to subscribe so I can verify.
As usual, Facebook fans get a bonus entry by liking, commenting or sharing my Facebook status about this giveaway.
The winner will be contacted Friday morning, July 4th, via the email they used to subscribe.
Who else is excited for this weekend?! I have yet to see Violent Femmes, Drive By Truckers or Hey Rosetta! live, so I’m very pumped for this. It’s gonna rule.
Hey Friday! Hey friends! Are you ready for a month of non-stop festivaling? I sure am. I mean, I’m dreading the lack of sleep and already feeling insanely overwhelmed, but this is generally the best month of the year, so I’ll take the ups with the stress.
Tonight I’m headed to the Summerworks announcement party, then I’m headed to Field Trip where I get to see Broken Social Scene, aka, all is well in the world.
Also, there’s still time to enter to win tickets to see TV on the Radio and Ziggy Marley next week, see the previous post for more details!
Anyhow, here’s a bunch of interesting reads to get you through to the sunshine, music, and fun that’s about to be your weekend:
- Top 5 things to do in Toronto this week [June 2 – 8th] ! – If you need more tips on what to do this weekend, check out my column over on Dose.
- Discovery: The Curators So how do we discover new music now? Interesting take on it.
- 29 sent to hospital from Avicii concert in Toronto Yikes. This is why I don’t go to EDM shows.
- Toronto ranked 4th most attractive global city And they’re talking about general living conditions, not how physically attractive the population is (as so many BlogTO commenters seemed to misunderstand).
- A brief history of Sneaky Dee’s This is great. I will forever love Sneaks.
- 6 Ways to Save Your Life — and Your Company “Actually, most of her generation will be leaving your company in its present form over the next decade. Why Because they know that if they work in your environment, within 10 years, they’ll be overweight, pre-diabetic, worn down by repetitive tasks, with burned-out adrenals. They’ll function at declining rates, finding it troublingly difficult to break the habits they’ve formed in your office.” Ain’t that the sad truth of office life.
- The conversation on fat-shaming is bigger than Louis C.K. It certainly is, but I appreciate that he was at least trying to give it some attention.
- Independent labels hit out at YouTube’s “unnecessary and indefensible” negotiating tactics Definitely a must read for indie artists.
- Beastie Boys ‘Sabotage’ Video Turned Into Vintage Comic As a Tribute to Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch This is awesome. I want a copy, please!
- 16 Habits Of Highly Sensitive People If you are anything like me, you’ll relate to almost everything on this list. Being highly sensitive doesn’t just mean I’m emotional and like to listen to Elliott Smith and have a good cry on the reg, it also means I’m super sensitive to pain, touch, smells, noises, light. Nothing gives me a bad headache faster than smelling someone’s perfume/cologne. Accupuncture was never the painless experience many claim it to be. If a food has an odd or slimy texture I can’t eat it. I always get annoyed at people who feel the need to put ALL the lights on – I’m also generally a night person for similar reasons. But for all the perceived downfalls, it definitely has its benefits. I’d much rather be sensitive than insensitive.
- Not All Men: A Brief History of Every Dude’s Favorite Argument Love this. #yesallwomen
- Let’s call the Isla Vista killings what they were: misogynist extremism Damn right they were.
- Elliot Rodger’s California shooting spree: further proof that misogyny kills But we also need to be aware that he was very, very mentally ill his entire life and it mostly went untreated. You can’t just blame the PUA community, as gross as it is.
- The Pick-Up Artist Community’s Predictable, Horrible Response to a Mass Murder But it’s still worth examining since he spent time there.
- Toronto police seek two men in sex assault, confinement case There may have been an update on this by now, but if not, please examine the photos and be safe out there, ladies!
- Paid apps gone free: This $50 app that teaches you to play guitar is now free Get it while you can! This is one of those rare times where I actually wish I had an iPhone or iPad. I kinda hate iPhone only apps, but this is a very cool idea.
- It Is Impossible to Believe How Mindblowing These Amazing New Jobs Are Hahahhah! If you’ve looked for jobs at all in the last 5 years, these parody ads will ring very true. Especially the low/no pay part.
- Finally, as if I wasn’t already excited to see BSS reunite this weekend, Kevin Drew will also be playing solo at the festival, and his new video with Zach Galifianakis and Feist is both adorable and hilarious:
Well everyone, festival season is officially on in Toronto, and that means I have more fun stuff to give to you.
Luminato is starting on Friday night, and they have asked me to give you a chance to win a pair of tickets to see a few awesome bands: The Roots (playing Saturday June 7th, doors at 7pm), TV on the Radio (playing June 13th, doors at 7pm) or Ziggy Marley (playing June 14th, doors at 7pm). All three shows take place at the Festival Hub at David Pecault Square, and tickets are $35 each or grab all three for $90.
In order to win, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the band(s) you would prefer to see as the subject of the email. There will be one winner for each show.
Please be sure you are available the night of the show you wish to see before you enter.
You have until 48 hours before each concert to enter. I will respond to the winners at least 24 hours before showtime with information on where to pick up your tickets.
As usual, you can get an extra entry by being a fan of TTRO on Facebook and liking/sharing or commenting on the Facebook post about this giveaway, and by tweeting the link to this post on Twitter!
That’s all there is to it!
Who are you excited to see at Luminato this year? The lineup is insanely good. Let me know in the comments.
Hey friends! While I am currently spending my entire week in cinemas covering Hot Docs I don’t have a lot of time to write, and that won’t be much better next week as Canadian Music Week returns! BUT I am making time to let you know that CMW has asked me to do a giveaway of 6 wristbands for 3 of you!
To win, just subscribe to my (soon to be released, for real this time, I promise!) weekly newsletter below. I will contact the winners via the email they used to subscribe, so ensure you hit the confirm link in the confirmation email you get after hitting that subscribe button – or you won’t be entered. If you have already subscribed, just leave a comment below using the email you subscribed with, letting me know you want to be entered.
As usual, Facebook fans can also get a bonus entry by liking, sharing or commenting on the Facebook post about this giveaway!
Contest is open until Monday at midnight, winners will be contacted via the email they used to subscribe on Tuesday.
Canadian Music Week has a lineup I am pumped for (umm, Television!!!!), hoping to get the chance to post my recommendations early next week. The film festival portion (which these wristbands will also get you into) this year is also excellent.