July 4th, 2009
Fellow Concert goers: Alex Greenwood, Julia Churchill, and a plethora of other friends
Artists: In Flight Safety, Arkells, Plants and Animals, Hey Rosetta!, Handsome Furs, Dinosaur Jr., Metric
Ever since the lineup for Virgin Festival Nova Scotia was announced I really wanted to go. However I wasn't willing to spend $75.00 for a ticket mostly to see Metric and Hey Rosetta! who would not be playing for that long. In an effort to increase ticket sales, tickets went 2 for 1. And then due to a sudden family emergency, the headlining Tragically Hip were forced to pull out of the show turning it into a free show. I didn't think I'd be able to go. But after a few phone calls and kms later I was down in the muddy pit known as Citadal Hill with a plethora of old high school friends and other friends. Here is a quick summary of each artist that played and some highlights.
Dog Day - Unfortunately I missed this great Halifax band since they were the first ones on stage. Seeing them last September made it a little easier to miss.
In Flight Safety - I only heard the last three or four songs in their set. But luckily I heard my favourite song, Model Homes, as well as their most popular song Surround. One of Halifax's best bands. They are always a treat to watch.
Arkells - A Hamilton based band, they put on an entertaining and lively show. While they were playing I was visiting the merch booth, so I can't properly review them. They are a band I will be checking out more in the future.
Plants and Animals - A Montreal based band, I was looking forward to seeing these guys live finally. Parc Avenue was a critically acclaimed album drawing great reviews from pretencious indie websites such as Pitchfork. They put on a good show, playing some of my favourites including Good Friend, Bye Bye Bye, and A Lorree Des Bois. Elements of psychadellic rock are present as intricate drum beats are played backed by passionate vocals and mesmorizing guitar.
Hey Rosetta! - Always a highlight to see these Newfoundlanders rock out. I was talking to Josh(bass player) before hand which was neat. A real down to earth and friendly guy. Hey Rosetta! always picks a fantastic setlist depening on the type of show they do. This performance was kicked off with the playing Red Heart. Everytime I hear the opening guitar riff of I've Been Asleep For A Long Time, I can't help but let a cheer out in anticipation of the great song. They also played two new songs, including Seeds which sounded much improved since when I saw them in May. Tim hitting a snare drum, plus everybody else hitting objects equals epic ending to a song. They finished off with New Goodbye, which the crowd instantly clapped along with without prompting. Up to this point of the festival, they definitely had the most fan support.
Handsome Furs - A Montreal based band featuring the husband/wife duo of Dan Boekner and Alexei Perry. This is another band I knew nothing about, but as soon as Dan started singing I thought his voice was very familiar. After a few minutes of trying to figure out who it was I realized it is the lead singer of Wolf Parade. They put on a lively and loud show. It was a mixture of rock with heavy synth and pre-recorded drum beats. Alexei was very energetic and entertaining to watch. Another band I will be looking into more closely now.
Dinosaur Jr. - A Massachusetta based band that has been on the go since 1984, I had heard the name, but not much of their music. They are an influential band in the alternative rock music scene, but not exactly my cup of tea. They seemed uninterested to be there, but the moshing fans seemed to enjoy pushing each other around while they played. I was just waiting for them to end and for Metric to begin. Maybe if I was more into the alternative rock and roll scene I would have enjoyed them more.
Metric - What to say, what to say. I've been on a huge Metric craze the past few months, so seeing them was a dream come true. With the Hip pulling out, they were able to play longer which was fantastic. Emily Haines was in fine form, dancing, singing, banging her tambourine, playing guitar, you name it. The setlist started with Twilight Galaxy from the new album, a song that builds from a slow and sweet ballad into an electronica rock song at the end. The set was heavily loaded with songs from the new album, but also featured some old favourites such as Dead Disco and Monster Hospital. From Fantasies they played Twilight Galaxy, Help I'm Alive, Sick Muse, Satellite Mind, Gold Guns Girls, Gimmy Sympathy, and Stadium Love. Throughout various parts of the set Joules would lead the crowd in sing alongs and fist pumping. Hopefully they return to the Maritimes soon and play a full proper concert.
The Offspring - I left before they came on. Maybe if I was a teenager in 1994 I would have went. But I wasn't.