What a great kickoff to an amazing festival! Had a blast last night. Started out with Amanda Rheaume, a festival favourite, who kicked it off in style on the Rogers Stage, just as the sky cleared after a very short torential rain pour that threatened to dampen Day 1 (and caused some pretty nasty little mud pits to form – here’s hoping a couple of dry days will fix those up!)
Part way through her set, I did my usual first-day wander around the festival grounds to get a feel for things and orient myself to the slight variations in layout from last year – not much different, some porta-potties in different locations, a few different tents, a bit more food and some slight variations on the positioning of the Gold Circle areas and such.
Next up was Amos the Transparent, Ottawa natives who were happy to be home playing to a crowd that was happy to have them back. I really enjoyed their set, though it highlighted an aspect of the annual Lawn Chair debate that is one of my biggest peeves about the whole situation: the fact that a huge section right in front of the stage is filled up and blocked off by people who are not even fans of these guys, these people have just setup early to reserve their spots for Jeff Beck, causing a great big dead space right in front of the stage with no dancing or movement at all, with the band’s actual fans pushed back or to the side. DAMN YOU LAWN CHAIRS!
Back over at the Rogers Stage, The Black Keys played big rockin’ crunchy guitar tunes to a lawn chair-less crowd that was happy to be shoulder-to-shoulder and bouncing around to their great big sound. Definitely the highlight of the night for me, this two-piece (Drums and Guitar/Vocals) from Akron Ohio rock hard to pump out sound that would be impressive from a five-piece band.
Jeff Beck is definitely a guitar god, and there was some impressive wailing going on at the main stage last night, but to me this stuff is headphone music – endless guitar solos just don’t cut it for me. So I took a tour over to the Black Sheep Stage and caught Sergent Garcia from Paris, who had the crowd literally jumping from front to back with their Cuban dance party vibe, a great end to the first night.
No pictures or videos from last night, since I realized right before I was leaving the house that the battery in my camera was dead. I’ll try to do better the rest of the week, I promise.
Tonight, I’ve got a big old list of bands to see and a big old dilemma over whether or not to catch George Clinton down at York Street, whose show will overlap both Metric and Iron & Wine at the main festival grounds. Think I’ll have to make a game-time decision once I get down there and see how I feel.