Monday, July 27, 2009

Show Stopper: Hillside Festival (Friday)

The Hillside Festival in Guelph was...unreal. So many great shows, so many great people. Because there's so much to cover here, I'm going to make my posts day-by-day. These posts will be filled with commentary, poorly lit photos, and shaky video footage. But if these things can make you feel even a remote portion of the joy I felt this past weekend, then it will all be well worth it.

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The Grates rock out.

Friday was a whirlwind of a day. After arriving at the volunteer campgrounds with my partner in crime Sunni, we quickly tried to assemble our tents before our first shift as food vendor assistants. Sadly, this quickness led to some tent difficulties, pinnacling in my inability to find a hole for the final rod to go into. After approximately half an hour of searching for this hole, we both gave up, shoved the rod in somewhere that looked decent, and ran off to our shift.

Four hours of guarding freezer trucks and running around with dishes passed before we were finished and finally able to go to our first show. Our one and only conflict of interest happened at this point. I was gung-ho on seeing The Grates, whereas Sunni had her heart set on Coeur de Pirate. After agreeing to split the shows (which unfortunately ended in us missing all of the Coeur show besides the tail end of an "Umbrella" cover), we literally ran to the necessary stage.

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More rocking.

The Grates were wonderful despite getting an awful time slot (they would've been far better utilized a bit later in the night). They managed to get a bunch of us dancing, which was no easy feat considering the fairly tame crowd. Lead singer Patience Hodgson was energetic and lovely. They split the set between debut album Gravity Won't Get You High and their latest release Teeth Lost, Hearts Won.

The Grates - "Burn Bridges" (Download)

At nine o'clock we had to make a tough decision: go see Rock Plaza Central or get drunk for the sure-to-be-dance-party USS show at ten. We settled on the drunk plan, and quickly headed back to our tents for some quick wine consumption. During this we did manage to hear Divine Brown belting it out from a nearby stage, including a moment in which she held a note for what must have been at least a minute. Sufficiently intoxicated, we headed over to the Island Stage for USS.

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Yes, that is Einstein on stage.

This was fun. Their live show was very reliant on theatrics and energy. Such theatrics included playing the turntables with everything from someone's head to someone's foot while said someone was perched on the DJ's shoulders. At one point they brought out a giant cardboard cutout of Obama and threw it to the crowd, which promptly ripped it to shreds out of pure joy. I ended up with a part of his leg, which I unfortunately later lost.

USS - "Laces Out" (Download)

Satisfied, we returned to Volunteer Village for a night of drinking, dancing, and new-friendmaking.

Saturday will be up soon, which will include discussion of waking up in a random tent, my favourite band discovery of the weekend, and a show that became the most epic dirty dance party I've attended in a while.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the video - that is me attempting my best to get a dance started. Haha. Shame it took an entire song for anyone else to join me!! ;)

(good thing I had a few beers in me)