FREDFEST 2014 WITH
VISUAL FEATURE EDITORIAL
All Photography By: Joanna Glezakos
By: Joanna Glezakos
This year was my first time at the North By Northeast Music festival and conference. I kicked Wednesday off picking up my pass from Fridae at the NXNE Headquarters and headed out to see Gus Wenner and Scout Willis at The El Mocambo. Yes, the Scout Willis! It seemed as though everyone wanted to get a glimpse of the Bruce Willis and Demi Moore spawn. When I first arrived at the venue there were a only a few people but once the band started to play it filled quickly. Could have been the buzz of wanting to see a glimpse of star power or it could’ve been that they were actually pretty good. Scout seemed a bit shy but her voice is powerful and unique. Gus is a very talented guitar player and after a great solo in Gone, Gone, Gone, Scout congratulated him with a kiss on the cheek. As the first band of my NXNE experience they were pretty great, with a classic sound like theirs and a bit of work developing their style, they’ll go a long way. After Gus & Scout I went over to the Bovine to see The Rabid Whole.
I wasn’t sure what to expect arriving at the Bovine. As I watched the band set up their equipment and lights, I was wondering what they sounded like . They were wearing similarly designed chain covered attire and had one hell of a fancy light set-up. The Rabid Whole ended my night with a bang! As soon as they started playing, their energy filled the tiny venue that is the Bovine. They had a grand sound, great stage presence and they jumped around the little stage rocking out harder than a lot of other bands I’ve seen. The Rabid Whole just released a new record with their new lineup and are worth checking out!
I was excited for day two of NXNE as I would be heading to Yonge and Dundas Square to see what would be the most exciting day for me; No Use for a Name, Good Riddance and Bad Religion. Spending a long day in the hot sun wasn’t going to be pleasant but thankfully there were lots of ways to cool down. I first headed down to Y&D and caught a bit of Trouble Andrew, then Slaves on Dope. For a bit of a break we headed over to the beer tent for ridiculously expensive refreshments. The best part of the show at YDS was not the free show but the fact you could leave at anytime, grab some grub, go to a local restaurant or bar, grab a drink and for many even head over to the LCBO to grab a couple of beers to sneak into the pit.
After fueling up at the Eaton Centre with some delicious food we headed back to check out No Use for A Name. One of two punk bands on that day’s line-up from California, No Use put on a great performance for old fans & new. The pit filled quickly right after for Good Riddance. It’s no surprise since the band played a farewell tour in 2007 after almost 20 years together. The band finally reunited February of this year and NXNE was one of their first shows together since their breakup. They put on a good show and got the crowd pumped for Bad Religion. I made a small mistake leaving the front of the pit to hang out with some friends because I found making my way back was more difficult than pulling out teeth! It took three songs before I was close enough to the front of the stage to take some shots without being in the destruction zone that was the mosh-pit.
As the sun had set and multiple drinks had been consumed, the crowd was rowdy and wasted. I stood there singing along and getting squashed & almost crushed, I watched as more people squished into the make-shift pit expanding the barricades. There were so many crowd surfers I’m surprised no one got hurt! People were coming from the beer garden and jumping over the five foot spaced barricades and into the mosh-pit, the crowd was going wild! After a few jabs at us Canadians, Bad Religion announced their next tour would be Canadian and couldn’t wait to come back. As much as I enjoyed their performance it was too hard to have a great time in such a big crowd. As the opening night at Yonge and Dundas square, I think the organizers realized they’d have to block off Yonge street for the next few days for the events.After Bad Religion, I met up with a friend and headed over to Lee’s Palace to catch Obey The Brave and Protest The Hero. It was nice to be in a smaller venue, we got there just in time for OTB, which I was really excited to see. If you haven’t heard of them they’re a mash-up of ex-members from Despised Icon and Blind Witness and have a great sound. As soon as OTB cleared the stage Protest members came to set up the stage, the venue started to fill quickly and the room filled with whistles, cat calls and chants of “PTH! PTH!”. As Rory (lead singer of Protest The Hero) came out onto the stage, cheers erupted from the crowd; It seemed as though I wasn’t the only one super stoked to see our hometown heroes. As they played their set, made jokes about gaining weight & being lazy (it’s okay Rory it happens to the best of us) I couldn’t help but noticed how many people had squeezed into the venue.
If you’ve ever been to Lee’s before it’s small but has a section for the bar and seats then lowers to the pit, the front of the stage was surrounded by a barricade. The pit was packed, any movement made shook the barricade and swayed it back and forth with the movement of the moshers. They pulled crowd surfers on stage so they could dive back in. Girls and guys alike were hot, sweaty messes and the energy from band to fans was infectious. This was probably one of the best Protest The Hero shows I’ve ever been to and I can’t wait to see them again at Heavy T.O. Check out their latest album Scurrilous.
After putting almost three thousand shots on my DSLR on Friday night, I was glad to take it easy on Saturday. I headed down to see Hollerado and Oberhofer at Yonge and Dundas square. Hollerado always put on a great show, Menno Versteeg always manages to jump of the drum kit which I got a sweet shot of, and they’re always jumping and moving around and great fun to watch. Menno reminisced about his grandfather and even paid respects to The Flaming Lips by only firing off one confetti canon. I felt bad for the band though it was so hot that day and they were facing the sun for their entire performance. After Hollerado the crowd got another treat with Oberhofer. Lead singer Brad Oberhofer definitely ruled the stage with his presence and funky dance moves. I hadn’t heard of them before but they were actually quite good and if you like Hollerado you’ll probably like them to so check them out.
A friend of mine was playing at The Velvet Underground and I promised I’d check them out, so I headed over there when Oberhofer ended. It was a bit of trek though considering they had blocked off Yonge street on Saturday, and queen street was blocked off too because Much Music was preparing for the MMVA’s on Sunday and College was closed off because of Taste of Little Italy. Crazy weekend!
The Flow, a local hip-hop/funk band from Toronto hit the stage at the Velvet Underground. The stage is small especially when your band consists of 9 members. The band was great, they open with a drum line and as each member gets on the stage they add their instruments. Covering songs by J’Dilla and N’Dea Davenport’s ‘Whatever you Want and’ Maroon 5’s ‘This Love‘. They’ve got a unique sound, a balanced group dynamic and a above par skill level. During their live performances they always feature improvisational solos during their own songs, Saturday’s performance included a surprise harmonica solo from Sax player Andrew Racknor. If you’re looking for a great time and want to hear some new music these guys can really play, they’ve got great original tunes and know how to get the crowd going. They’re passionate about music and are always playing local shows check them out live or on their website at www.forthoseintheflow.com.
NXNE was full of many firsts for me. First NXNE, first time seeing Oberhofer, first time at Velvet Underground and I really enjoyed it. I hope it was as fun for you guys as it was for me. If you didn’t get a chance to check out any of the shows, the $58 you pay for the pass is worth it, so you definitely must check it out next year. This years performers were amazing and they only keep getting better. A great showcase filled with plenty of fantastic acts and many free shows, I’m sure you’ll find something you like! Check out www.facebook.com/FridaeTV for more photos.
ENTER THE BLURRRR…..
By: Fridae Mattas
There is a need for some sort of structure when planning coverage for Canadian Music Week / Canadian Music Fest whatever they choose to call it. There must be at least three bands you already plan to see or the festival will swallow you up and spit you out leaving you dazed and confused staring at the ceiling of the Royal York hotel where you can find the hallways loitered with passed out musicians drooling on the carpet beside their own vomit…If you think you can manage twenty five bands a night as media, go ahead and try I did! When I first started doing these festivals I killed myself trying to cover as many bands as I could, now I have come to the conclusion if I bust my ass I can cover sixteen bands a night but that leaves no time for partying which is how you network in this industry. I still stress out, make my schedule far too ambitious and then feel guilty for not filming and seeing more bands. What you always have to remember is you can’t catch them all, so don’t feel guilty about missing that band and I keep telling myself that every time a festival comes around.
Dush and Dissension
First night launched with the Montreal Metal showcase at the Opera House which was east of all the action where some pretty serious metal was shred! Of course where there is the good, there is also the ass and that just ruins the flow of the night. You know the kind of band I am talking about, the ones that think they are so amazing yet their whole set sounds like one long really shitty song. There was one of those bands between these two that intrigued me. Dush and Dissension are both very different bands with different sounds and genders, one band “Dush” is fronted by a Female and the other was Dissension your usual all male metal band. Both these bands were not phenomenal but have tremendous potential, Dush front Woman Mira Soloman has a spectacular voice but needs to work on her pitch but otherwise very powerful. The songs need work some sound identical, even the ballad type track they played had comparable sounds to the other songs in the set.
The larries of Dissension rocked out hard; the growls were fantastic as was the playing of the instruments. There were moments when Vox Nathan Afilalo would talk to the crowd trying to get them all riled up with his angry face, it was comical to me I didn’t take him seriously because it all came off too contrived. I stayed for a few more tunes to tell you the truth I decided to call it an early night because Nikki Sixx’s interview was before noon the following day and I was still trying to free myself of this nasty cold. The one thing that I will never forget about the Montreal Metal showcase is the dude who was moshing in a grey suit. As I headed to the streetcar a friend called and begged me to join the festivities at the Horseshoe. I did get on the wrong streetcar because I was too preoccupied with the phone to notice until I passed where we should have turned, obviously it was meant to be. Recalling all of the next events…No idea! The band rocking the Horseshoe when I arrived I am guessing was ‘Chasing Amy’ who didn’t sound too bad, it’s all a blur after that. Five A.M and I finally make it home to unload and recharge everything and maybe catch a power nap…So much for my early night!
Next day was buzzing, literally I was still buzzed from the night before yet surprisingly I was early and made it to catch Nikki Sixx have a little discussion with Jeff Woods about his current projects and the new Motley tour which actually has a Toronto date, I would hope so after all the noise the people made during the interview after he announced that Motley is touring this summer. Sixx had many relevant answers to Wood’s questions about various topics from his music, photography and the soon to be release ‘This Is Gonna Hurt” which is a book hitting shelves April 12th and Record by the same name with Nikki’s band SIXX: A.M dropping May 10th. The first single off the ‘This Is Gonna Hurt’ album is “Lies Of the Beautiful People” available on iTunes. I have to give Jeff Wood’s much respect because he delivered an informative interview actually getting to some really interesting discussions in the hour long interview. You can find the links to the full Explore Music interview at the bottom but here’s a little conjoined clip I filmed of Nikki discussing Photography.
Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker (USS)
That night I decided to check out Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker (USS) at the Phoenix which is another outskirts venue, why I decided to trek all over the city this year is beyond me but I just wanted fresh spots you know! I love USS their energy is like nothing else you’ve seen! Two larries who entertain like there are more than just them on the stage, the crowd was insane! USS is their own entity; the fan base this Indie band has come to acquire proves they have something special. Once I reached the venue it was packed, completely impossible to get feasible video footage or photos but I did film a few clips and they will be in the CMW highlight video coming soon! The people love Jason “Human Kebab” Parsons and Ashley Boo-Shultz the dynamic duo that is USS, they will be dropping their new record May 3rd and set to embark on a Cross Canada tour in support of the record with Ashley MacIsaac on the fiddle! It’s weird to me I’ve never seen two male Ashley’s on one stage together should be interesting fun times if I can catch the Toronto show! When USS swings by your city go see them, they are spectacular.
Canadian Radio Music Awards and Troy Carter
Friday I checked out the CRMA’s (Canadian Radio Music Awards) last year I missed them and so I tried my best to make it to these ones and that I did. There were performances by a few of the nominees Ash Koley, Hollerado, JRDN who also won awards; you can find all the winners at www.CMW.net.
I kept seeing JRDN all over the place and he was always with this one guy who is seriously too hot! From what I remember of the presenters Melissa Etheridge was one but I missed her all together at CMW. This particular event was a super challenge the performances and awards were so close together no time to catch them all, I had to run all the way around to get back into the media room from the award room for some press shots. It was crazy! I had to work this one on my own but later was joined by my longtime friend Designer-Photographer Mikey Sin who came just in time for the Troy Carter interview. He took the shots and filmed a clip while I listened intently thinking there would be that golden piece of information that we can apply.
The interviewer Larry LeBlanc (His name actually is Larry!) didn’t have any questions pertaining to any formula used with Carter’s artists he focused more on what it was like meeting Troy’s most popular artist Lady Gaga for the first time and what she is like. Who cares, if you have to try that hard to be “Different’ clearly you’re just like all the other sheep! When you are too legit and absolutely born this way, there is no need to be so desperate for attention! I think someone has something to hide! The girl is obviously completely lost in the hype of the character she portrays and doesn’t know what’s real anymore. Think about it and watch Troy discuss a few things, the best response was “Canada is the Music industry’s best kept Secret” duh! That’s the only interesting thing I picked up as I was dozing in and out; Larry talked way too much and asked too many irrelevant questions there was no meat! Unlike the Jeff Woods interview with Nikki Sixx, this one had way too much lettuce! The coolest part was after the interview local Toronto band ‘Courage My Love’ played some acoustic songs in the hallway!
Seventh Rain and Chris Assaad
Prior to manager Troy Carter’s interview I did an interview myself with a band from Calgary “Seventh Rain” who were in town to perform at the festival, I could not make it out to the show unfortunately for me but they did give me their current record “The Ghost In Me” and I have to say when I listened to it I was pleasantly surprised, they are so good! The band is Ryan Williams, Rich MacFarlane, Luke Sheppard and John Byskal watch the interview below, I loved their personalities! When they come back to Toronto will most definitely cover the set!
Later that night I was to hit up Good Charlotte’s set at the Phoenix but I was told FridaeTV was declined media access so I didn’t go but then I checked my email a few hours after and I was approved. If they told me sooner I could have made it out! Instead I saw a few artists at The Royal York, like the fabulous Chris Assaad who has such a smooth voice and totally wowed everyone in the Library Bar at the Hummel Entertainment showcase, myself included. He needs some work on the vocals and some catchier tracks but the talent is unspeakable, it was too small a stage for such a great talent in the making. Carter was right about Canada being the best kept secret but we Canadians already knew this and everything else that was said in the interview. Chris Assaad has an extremely bright future, he plays the Guitar well the construction of his songs are fitting to him he doesn’t try to be anyone else. Looking forward to seeing more of his live shows, this set was long overdue but definitely worth the wait.
Not quite as many bodies in the actual concert room as last year but definitely more enthusiasm and lots of fabulous energy from the people. Once Janelle hit the stage the crowds screams echoed, one directly to my right was literally making me deaf
and you can hear her scream in one of the tracks I filmed, it’s all silent then she lets one rip, too funny I love Teenies! Miss Monàe was a little behind getting on the stage and once she was on it, the whole production drowned her out. The intro was her on screen as a futuristic Alien lady jibbering about Dancing or Dying the song about to be played and some other stuff. Once visible on stage she still seemed to just blend she did not stand apart from her dancers the stage was not commanded! She just needs to relax a little you can tell her nerves were in full force and her outfit needs to be different than her dancers otherwise she just becomes background in her own performance as she did here. Vocally the girl turned it out, she has talent that is versatile and I like that, I wish her mic levels were up a bit there were moments when the live instruments were drowning her out. I would recommend checking her out if you can!! That my friends, is CMW 2011 festivities in the shortest possible way I could adapt it! I didn’t even have a chance to check out any films but you can catch some tunes filmed on FridaeTV Youtube and FridaeTV Facebook! As promised here are the links to the Nikki Sixx interview with ExploreMusic’s Jeff Woods! Part 1 and Part 2 see you next year the week after SXSW, weird but true they are flipping the script for Canadian Music Week next year! A huge Thank you goes out to the wonderful people of Planet3 Communications for all their hard work and help.
COPYRIGHT ©2011 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved.
AT DOWNSVIEW PARK on July 9, 2011
FEATURING PERFORMANCES BY RISE AGAINST, A PERFECT CIRCLE AND A LINEUP OF GREAT CANADIAN TALENT
TORONTO (ONTARIO) January 24, 2011 – Edgefest ‘11 is set to return to Toronto with 16 acts now confirmed to perform at Downsview Park on Saturday, July 9, 2011. Fan favourites Rise Against, A Perfect Circle, The Weakerthans, Tokyo Police Club, Arkells, The Reason and Dinosaur Bones will be rocking the main stage. Rounding out the bill of incredible talent on the side stage will be Hollerado, Ko, Gentlemen Husbands, Harlan Pepper, Michou, Mockingbird Wish Me Luck, Monster Truck, Sandman Viper Command and The Sheepdogs, making this the must-see festival of 2011.
“102.1 the Edge is excited to bring Edgefest back to Downsview Park for a jam packed lineup of Canadian and international talent on two stages,” said Ross Winters, Program Director, 102.1 the Edge. “This year’s lineup features 14 homegrown bands that are making a mark in the music scene and we are proud to showcase this great talent to our dedicated listeners right in our backyard.”
“Edgefest is back with a mind numbing excellent festival that will blanket Toronto with a force not seen since the great snowstorms of the late ‘70s. Besides the earth shattering rock of Rise Against and A Perfect Circle, people will be able to see an incredible array of frighteningly great Canadian talent!” – exclaims Elliott Lefko, Goldenvoice.
Edgefest began as a single event for the 10th birthday celebration of 102.1 the Edge. After such an incredible success, the event turned into an annual concert for music enthusiasts. For the past 20 years, Edgefest has featured the biggest names in new rock such as Billy Talent, AFI, Tool, Radiohead, Nickelback, Green Day, Blur, Our Lady Peace, Linkin Park, Stone Temple Pilots and hundreds of other major label and indie acts.
The 2011 Edgefest headliners are:
A Perfect Circle
A Perfect Circle formed in 1999 with principal members Billy Howerdel and Maynard James Keenan creating an alt-metal sound with theatrical, ambient qualities. A Perfect Circle returned from a six-year hiatus in 2010 with current members Billy Howerdel, Maynard Keenan, Josh Freese, Matt McJunkins and James Iha.
Chicago foursome Rise Against is a melodic hardcore band that formed in 1999. The band’s fan base quickly grew from its roots in the underground punk scene to landing slots on high-profile national tours.
The Weakerthans – www.theweakerthans.org
Tokyo Police Club- www.tokyopoliceclub.com
The Reason – www.myspace.com/thereasonrock
Arkells – www.arkells.ca
Dinosaur Bones www.myspace.com/dinosaurbonesband
For additional information about Edgefest ‘11, please visit: www.edge.ca
102.1 the Edge’s Inside Edge presale begins Wednesday, January 26 at 10 a.m. and ends Friday, January 28 at 10 p.m. Public ticket on-sale for Edgefest will begin Saturday, January 29 at 12 p.m. (noon) at all Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.ca and by calling (416) 870-8000. Ticket information is also available at www.edge.ca.
Early Birds save $10! Early ticket buyers pay just $39.50 for a limited time. This year, Edgefest is offering “Fast Pass” tickets to the first 2,500 ticket buyers. Lucky holders of the exclusive “Fast Pass” ticket will receive the royal treatment, entering the festival at a separate gate and skipping the lineups.
Avoid the crowds; a limited number of VIP tickets are available! VIPs will be treated to a separate VIP only food and beer area plus “Fast Pass” entry into the venue. VIP tickets are available for a limited time and while supplies last for $102.10.
About 102.1 the Edge; Long regarded as Canada’s most influential new rock station, 102.1 the Edge (CFNY-FM) is home to The Dean Blundell Show. Part of the Corus Radio network of new rock stations, 102.1 the Edge is proud to air the best in new rock programming and is the flagship station to popular syndicated programs including Canada’s longest running new rock documentary show The Ongoing History of New Music hosted by Alan Cross as well as Alan’s daily show, ExploreMusic. Tune in to 102.1 the Edge on the FM dial or listen live at http://www.edge.ca.
102.1 the Edge is owned by Corus Entertainment Inc., a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, television broadcasting, children’s book publishing and children’s animation. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (CJR.B). Experience Corus on the web at www.corusent.com.
Established in 1985, Goldenvoice is a full service local concert promoter based in Los Angeles producing over 400 shows per year throughout North America. Goldenvoice and it’s parent company AEG Live host the most critically acclaimed music festivals in the U.S. Goldenvoice created and operates the award winning annual Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival as well as Stagecoach: California’s Country Music Festival. In addition, AEG Live, co-produces both the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Bumbershoot: Seattle’s Music & Arts Festival.