Birds of Bellwoods
Kitty Daisy & Lewis
All Photos by Anthea Thomas, excluding Lord Huron.
Grab a beer because you’ll need something to raise. Let’s take it to Lee’s Palace Thursday night where, a crowd of mostly men, had that exact thought. Because when Catl and Murder by Death are stopping by, there is nothing more to do than kick back and party.
M U R D E R B Y D E A T H
Photos by Anthea Thomas.
If you’ve never seen SATE perform before, prepare because it isn’t gentle. From her black lipstick to her sensual smirk, she is a wild one. She doesn’t give you a warning, signal or any mercy. She does you hard, right on the stage for all to see. Once she begins, she unleashes herself and you can’t help feel a little dirty because it takes about 2 seconds before you’re trashing along with her wanting more. Last night at the Horseshoe, she had everyone panting, dancing and losing themselves in her. During the performance she ripped the crowd raw with her powerful voice paired with a blues-rock sound. Though blues-rock doesn’t begin to describe the enthralling experience of SATE, it’s something more raw and exclusive and so good it’s indescribable. Performing Sunday, the rock-queen is sure to bring down the stage at TURF.
Now, with an act as breath-taking as SATE, who could have possibly been as eye-catching enough to open. Well, they came from someplace where a see-through cheetah dress is called “dressing up” for the occasion.
“Put your phone on the table, and jump on the table,” lead, Serge Brideau said. Then the music began and head-banging possessed him. Taking the glittering glory, otherwise known as ‘the stage at The Horseshoe’, sweaty, French, and full of sass was Les Hostress D’Hilaire. If you don’t know them, don’t worry. They’ll get you excited. Vamping up the crowd with their angry French rock, the band made themselves memorable to say the least. The crowd couldn’t understand what they were saying while they played but Brideau made sure to speak enough English to crack a few jokes between sets. Even offering up a small side of political humour.
“If you don’t buy our CD that’s okay, but that means you’re probably from Alberta.” Brideau said.”…I mean if you don’t buy it it means you love Harper.”
And it begins. The countdown is over and festival withdrawal will be coming to an end (for now). TURF may start on Friday, but the Bonus Concert Series is well underway. Starting yesterday, Lee’s Palace and The Horseshoe opened their doors to the artists of the festival and more importantly the ever-patient music lovers. And quite frankly, it was a big night. While I spent my night fawning over The Fratellis, I couldn’t leave you high and dry without an inside peak at the club shows.
Over at the Horseshoe, Grand Analog shared the stage with Cold Specks. The meld of hip-hop and R&B produced by the five-member set-up fronted by Odario Williams, will be hitting the stage on opening day. Their energy and smooth beats make them a must see.
At Lee’s Palace, six guys from Winnipeg came, played and reminded everyone once again that there is talent in the prairies. Royal Canoe gave a little taste of the energy to be seen at their upcoming set on Saturday, when they’ll be playing the South Stage along with other noteworthy acts like Choir! Choir! Choir!
Previewing their set, Toronto-based, HIGHS, gave their city a show to remember.
The indie rock band will adding TURF to the growing list of festivals they’ve played including Wayhome, Canadian Music Week and NXNE. The band is gaining more and more recognition with their self-titled EP, released back in 2013, that keeps drawing fans in.
Tomorrow night, SATE plays The Horseshoe while Catl will be tearing down Lee’s Palace.
Grand Analog Photos shot by DGMT Photography
HIGHS and Royal Canoe by Anthea Thomas
Pumpkin lattes, sweater weather and turning leaves…can all suck it because festival season isn’t over yet. This weekend some big names like Alexisonfire and Edward Sharpe are piling into Toronto as two festivals go head to head. This Year’s TURF: Toronto Urban Roots Festival has bumped around its yearly arrival. Normally happening in the summer, the growing festival has decided to challenge the well-established Riot Fest. Normally what scene you’re into decides what festival you’re drawn to, RIOT Fest is for the hardcore crowd, while TURF takes over Fort York with bunching of some great indie rock bands. But this year both festivals have such stellar line-ups you may ware out your TTC pass and your wallet.
Riot fest is going hard. With four stages ready to welcome concertgoers, the two-day music festival is bringing out some well-seasoned acts. Weezer, Cancer Bats and Alexisonfire are just a few of the big names playing shows, and that’s just the Saturday. Sunday will bring out the rowdie ones for sure. Taking the stage early in the day the always graceful men known as Fidlar will be playing at the Roots stage, where The Joy Formidable and The Airborne Toxic Event will also be playing. Closing down the night is Weezer with songs from their Blue album. Easy choice, right? Riot Fest it is.
Well, wait a second because Shakey Graves is showing up and he’s got Edward Sharpe and Wilco with him. Over at TURF, they may be short a stage but they’ve got an extra day of fun. Beginning on Friday, Grand Analog will begin the big-name fun early on, followed by Shakey Graves the sets are looking pretty tight.
The Avett Brothers and Of Monster and Men will close down the festival, but not the night. If you’re not done for the night Lee’s Palace and The Horseshoe have you covered. Hosting after parties each night after the festival closes down, you can get more than your fill of music in.
And there is still two more days. Over at the West Stage on Saturday Passenger, followed by Cake will continue the fun, while Wilco and Edward Sharpe prepare to play. Sunday will shut the festival down with Neko Case, Ron Sexsmith and the legendary Pixies.
Alright, let’s start weighing the perks of each.
Like I said, the fun doesn’t stop after the encore and it also starts before Friday. Beginning on Wednesday, artists from TURF will be taking over The Horseshoe and Lee’s Palace as part of the Club Concert Series featuring Royal Canoe, Desaparecidos, Julian Taylor Band and Will Butler.
The shows will go each night until the 21st. and feature various artists from the festival, TURF gives you a chance to see all the shows you want without having to pick between sets.
With festivals in Chicago and Denver each year, there are a series of club shows surrounding the event, though Riot Fest doesn’t bring the club shows to Toronto. But with shorter set times and more acts, there is a little bit of a larger variety to choose from.
Another thing about the festivals are the hidden gems. Riot Fest will be housing some random acts that seem a little out of place among the giant devil head they’ve set up at the entrance gates. Rapper, Tyler the Creator and Wu-Tang Clan are performing Sunday as well as, Bleachers which make the event all the more intriguing. Everyone playing TURF you’d expect to be there and the similar vibe is appealing all on it’s own making deciding an almost impossible decision.
So yeah, maybe eenie meenie miney mo may be more helpful than me?