By: Fridae Mattas
Edgefest! Yes, it went down on Saturday July 14th at Downsview Park and headlining this year was Canada’s own Billy Talent. The lineup also included The Pack A.D., USS (Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker), Death From Above 1979, Silversun Pickups, The Sheepdogs, The Balconies, Indian Handcrafts, The Dirty Heads and a few more I just couldn’t get to on time.
There was a good sized crowd when we arrived just after 12:30pm, it was perfect timing to see Vancouver duo Becky Black Vox/Guitar and Maya Miller known as The Pack A.D. The garage rock duo was first to play the mainstage and did an incredible job keeping the crowd excited, not to mention they make some pretty tasty sugarless mojitos! Keep it peeled for the interview team member Anthony Dell’Orso did with the talented Femmes. You can view photos and videos of the bands covered here and here.
Once The Pack A.D’s set ended we headed over to catch The Balconies at the side stage which was pretty much three football fields away! It took five minutes with a bit of crowd traffic to reach from the main stage but by 3pm it took at least fifteen and we did not have golf cart access to take us there. Migrations to that stage had to be limited if I wanted to catch any of the bands. At least we managed to hit up the side stage more than once, I looked but couldn’t find the electronic stage.
This was my first time seeing The Balconies from Ottawa live or so I think, so many bands I thought I haven’t seen but I have. I must say they put on an entertaining performance I love their tune ‘Kill Count’, they all looked like they were having a lot of fun on the stage. I definitely need to catch another one of their sets in the future.
So many people this year it blew my mind there was no space except near the sides of the of the park and backstage. It was super hot that day perfect for a festival that even had a cooling station. Thankfully it didn’t rain but Vans Warped Tour the next day did not have such luck. We kept cool by drinking lots of water and finding shade under random trees if we weren’t chilling in the media trailer between sets. There weren’t any serious medical emergencies other than the drunk crowd surfer who smashed his head open and was gushing blood after landing in the media pit. The bleeding Larry was fighting the Popo’s as blood ran down his face like a waterfall. They were trying to help the guy get to the medical tent and he was battling them because he wanted to go back out and watch the rest of the bands set! That was a fucked up incident to witness and I’m glad he’s okay, all the blood gave me goosebumps!
After that incident nothing of that nature happened and the thousands of people having a safe but amazing time was so good to see! A few of the bands in the lineup like USS, I have covered before and will over again because they put on one of the most energetic sets I have seen, plus their tunes are catchy! the crowd was certainly loving every minute of their on and off stage antics.
Another first was The Dirty Heads who looked super familiar to me, maybe I have seen them because even their tunes sounded familiar. Many bands covered over the years and they have beyond blended, a stand out is very rare. The Dirty Heads sound is way different than their rock band appearance, they have this mellow island vibe with some pretty sick vocals. Never judge a book by it’s cover, you may surprised what stories and glories you will find inside to discover.
The Sheepdogs also put on an exceptional performance, as always they are enjoyable to listen to. Indian Handcrafts were another band seen at the second stage, a male duo who are “men that make man music”! Quite surprised with their performance, looking forward to seeing more from these Larries. Anthony did an interview with Brandyn and Daniel, stay tuned for that one as well.
Death From Above 1979 were incredible, I’m glad I finally had the chance of seeing the turn it out live. I loved the guitars, the way the axe sounded was exactly how you would want it to sound. I think they are much better live than on record, one of those better live bands for sure.
The Silversun Pickups were decent but for their divo rock star attitude they really didn’t throw it down as hard as half the bands who already performed, no wonder they refused video last minute. I had no idea because I was doing an interview minutes prior to their set almost missing the three media tunes. Some grumpy old men in the pit behind me decided to talk loudly about it amongst themselves “I thought there was no filming?”, instead of just telling me politely like the media rep did a few seconds later. If there is no filming, that’s cool I don’t care, it is much less work for me. Some people! Thirty plus years my senior and they never left high school, it’s hilarious! And people wonder why kids are bullies, look at who is breeding, we are all products of our environment.
I managed to cover all the bands I had scheduled except one Whale Tooth, there is always a next time but I did manage an interview which will be up in a few weeks.
- Now onto the headliners Billy Talent! When I heard they were headlining I was happy because they always put on a great show and this year they were booked at the right kind of festival. We were in the media trailer just before the set recharging batteries and ourselves, Billy Talent had two trailers and the one beside us was where Vox Ben Kowalewicz was warming up. He sounded pretty good for his style of singing and even better once they hit the stage, this band is always consistently incredible on stage. I have so much respect for Billy Talent if you don’t know, now you know the band is: Ian D’Sa – Guitar/Backup vocals, Jonathan Gallant – Bass/backup vocals and Aaron Solowoniuk on The Drums. They have been together since 1993 all original members, for rock bands that is a miracle, they change members like they change names, groupies, girlfriends and friends. Similar to the style of Hollywood marriages, some last but most tend to break up. If you have not yet seen Billy Talent or any of the bands mentioned you have been missing out on some fantastic music and need to immediately listen to one of their tunes!
Extreme thanks goes to the FridaeTV Edgefest team: Joanna and Anthony for helping out, without them I would have missed half of the bands! And, last but not least the super Women of the Audioblood crew, thank you so much ladies for the pleasant experience! Hope to see more people, if that’s possible at Edgefest 2013!