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Bonnaroo 2013 Highlights

In Concert Reviews, Music on June 26, 2013 at 7:05 am
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Photo credit: Caitlyn Holroyd

Went to Bonnaroo and loved it. Here are some highlights.

  • Major props to the Wal-Mart in Manchester for making our pre-Bonnaroo shopping trip quick, easy, and fun. Being first-timers, we had heard that stopping here beforehand was a rite of passage—and it most definitely is. Upon entering, we were greeted by a giant “Welcome to Bonnaroo” banner and friendly staff decked out in tie-dye. Everything we needed—beer, snacks, baby wipes, bug spray, tie-dye shirts—was easily accessible and well-stocked, which made navigating the store a breeze.
  • The ladies of HAIM and Deap Vally are worth the hype. Both put on great shows.
  • I don’t think I stopped smiling during Father John Misty’s set.
  • Passion Pit’s Friday afternoon set was one big dance party under the sweltering Tennessee sun.
  • Wu-Tang Clan proved they Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit and their ASL interpreter was incredible.
  • I can now say that I’ve seen a Beatle live. Paul McCartney’s three-hour performance included songs from the Beatles and Wings era plus his own solo material and stories about Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and John Lennon. There were two encores, fireworks, and 80,000 people singing along to “Hey Jude” so yes, it was epic.
  • I tried alligator for the first time and it was delicious!
  • When it’s so hot that you can barely move, you need beautiful music to lounge to. Local Natives and Solange were just that.
  • We met a guy from Alabama and he asked us to explain Canadian money and healthcare to him.
  • On Saturday night, I had to decide between R. Kelly and Billy Idol and that is just not fair. Ultimately, I went with Billy because seeing an ’80s icon perform on a farm in Tennessee was a once in a lifetime kind of thing. His costume changes included a leather jacket, a leather vest, a dress shirt, a suit jacket worn open, and no shirt at all.
  • Mac DeMarco’s show at Canadian Music Week in March was one of the craziest I’ve ever been to, so I knew seeing him perform at Bonnaroo was a must. His Sunday afternoon show was far more tame, but it wasn’t any less fun—it’s impossible not to have fun at a Mac DeMarco show.
  • Tame Impala probably should have performed on the main stage because their Sunday evening set was overflowing from The Other Tent. I had a prime spot near the front which meant that I was able to experience the band in all their psychedelic glory and high-five crowd surfers after they floated across the audience.
  • “It smells really good at Bonnaroo. I swear it smells like pot,” Tom Petty said during his closing set on Sunday night. Naturally, smoke filled the air during “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.”
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Photo credit: Caitlyn Holroyd

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Photo credit: Caitlyn Holroyd

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Photo credit: Caitlyn Holroyd

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Photo credit: Caitlyn Holroyd

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Photo credit: Caitlyn Holroyd

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Photo credit: Caitlyn Holroyd

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Photo credit: Caitlyn Holroyd

* Published on June 24, 2013 at She Does the City

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She Does The City Does Canadian Music Week 2013

In Concert Reviews, Music on March 28, 2013 at 8:55 pm
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Mac Demarco at Sneaky Dee’s
Photo credit: Caitlyn Holroyd

Here are our top picks from Canadian Music Week 2013, which included discovering new talent, finally seeing old favourites, and catching a glimpse of one notable Montreal artist’s nether regions.

Thursday: PS I Love You, Wildlife, The Darcys at The Great Hall 

The sickness gods decided that this would be a great week for me to have a cold, but what they didn’t know is that CMW trumps colds every time. So after nursing my stuffy nose with soup and tea, I made my way to The Great Hall to catch PS I Love You, Wildlife, and not-so-secret-guests The Darcys.

I’ve been a fan of Kingston noise rock duo PS I Love You for a while now but had yet to see them live until Thursday night. Needless to say, they made my first time a memorable one; performing at a level that made it so I could literally feel their music moving through my body. I will always be a sucker for guitar shredding and Saulnier did things to his that made my (and the rest of the crowd’s) jaw drop.

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Wildlife at The Great Hall
Photo credit: Caitlyn Holroyd

Toronto’s Wildlife have a very dedicated Toronto following and the venue filled up exponentially when they took the stage. I’d been dying to hear their song “Born To Ruin” live ever since it was released back in January and, as expected, it had the crowd fist pumping and singing along with the band.

Capping off the night were Toronto band The Darcys, who people quickly figured out were the special guests of the night. (Fun fact: while I was in Marfa, Texas this past September, a local told me that one of The Darcys’ dads had been in town the week before I was and he was really cool and convinced her to come visit Toronto.) I’ve always been impressed with the band’s stage presence and was a little bummed that their set was a short one. More Darcys! Always!

Friday: Kopecky Family Band at The Dakota Tavern

I’ve been waiting for Nashville’s Kopecky Family Band to play Toronto ever since I did a Q&A with them back in 2011 and it finally happened last Friday. The Dakota provided the perfect backdrop for the band’s feel-good folk music, which included several songs off of their new (very good) debut album Kids Raising Kids.

M for Montreal (M for Mac DeMarco!) at Sneaky Dee’s

Walking into Sneaky Dee’s for the M for Montreal showcase, I was greeted with the smell of poutine and sweat. Montreal, meet Sneaky Dees! Pre-Mac DeMarco highlights included the very danceable, synth-heavy We Are Wolves from Montreal, and Grounders—a Toronto band who make music that should be a part of your 2013 summer soundtrack. This was, of course, the calm before the beautiful storm that is Mac DeMarco.

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Mac DeMarco at Sneaky Dee’s
Photo credit: Caitlyn Holroyd

Upstairs was packed to the brim with people trying to catch a glimpse of the quirky 22-year-old Montreal-based artist who, in true Canadian form, was clad in denim on denim on denim. (In contrast, his bass player Pierce McGary was dressed very James Franco in Spring Breakers—cornrows and all.) It’s impossible not to bop along to DeMarco‘s brand of smooth, catchy rock ‘n’ roll, and songs like “Freaking Out The Neighborhood” and “Ode To Viceroy” had the crowd doing just that…plus moshing and crowd surfing. Even DeMarco got in on the crowd surfing, bringing his girlfriend Kiki along for a makeout sesh towards the end of his set. Things got even crazier when lit cigarettes began popping up throughout the crowd and DeMarco’s friend was escorted out of the venue after passing off several to DeMarco during his performance. Other notable moments include a cover of Weezer’s “The Sweater Song” and DeMarco giving us a glimpse of his, er, man parts. I have never been to a show like this before and probably never will again. #MACDEMARCO4LIFE.

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Grounders at Sneaky Dee’s
Photo credit: Caitlyn Holroyd

Saturday: Savages & Suuns at Lee’s Palace

No CMW is complete for me without checking out a show at Lee’s and Saturday was the perfect night to do so with London’s (England, that is) buzzworthy Savages and Montreal’s Suuns performing.

Savages‘ music is dark and wonderful, and lead singer Jehnny Beth’s live performance is so badass and intense that it’s kind of scary. (She’s the kind of woman I would never mess with.) The crowd was very much into their set, which made for an awesome show.

Like Savages, Suuns have also garnered plenty of buzz with their psychedelia-meets-experimental-meets-post-punk sound being compared to the likes of Clinic, My Bloody Valentine, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Their set was soothing and beautiful; a perfect end to a chaotic week.

* Published on March 25, 2013 at She Does the City