Tuesday, July 31, 2007

That's final!

My original plan to finish off Monday was to go and see Buddy Guy, but the River Stage was completely jammed during my brief reconnaissance, so I headed back to the Black Sheep Stage to see Final Fantasy. I've seen Owen Pallett twice, both at times Bluesfest. This second show didn't have the revelatory feel of a first appearance, but I was still mighty impressed by how much mileage he got out of looping his violin. He also had a nifty light show provided by animator etc. Stephanie Comilang.

Stephanie gives Owen a hand. You can just make her out operating the overhead projector to the right.

Her bit with the writing was particularly nifty and appropriate.

As was the piano.

Charming as ever; he'll be back in town in a few months, and this time you won't have to head up to Wakefield or wait for Bluesfest to see him: He'll be at the Bronson Centre Nov. 20 and tickets go on sale very soon.

Buckle up

In-Flight Safety specialize in pretty indie-rock. I find their studio stuff slightly reminiscent of early 1990s Britpop like Adorable, Mansun and Dody, if a bit lacking individuality. Live they were a heartier proposition.

John Mullane wears some appropriate aviator's shades.

Bassist Brad Goodsell shakes it.

Keyboardist Daniel Ledwell. You must have at least two Ls in your last name to be in this band.

Unless you're dummer Glen Nicholson.

They did attract a good crowd.

Safety action!

A solid performance, albeit not hugely exciting.

Monday, July 30, 2007

New directions

Relief Maps started things off at my Monday night campout at the Black Sheep Stage. It was sunny day, which made taking photographs a bit tricky. My camera's EQ detector was completely befuddled by the contrast between sun and shade.

Dusty prepares to loot and pillage and keyboard! The helmet didn't last long in the heat.

Kate looking sunny.

Luke casts a shadow.

One good thing about being the drummer - you get to stay in the back where it's usually shady like Kevin.

I tried to take a few pictures of "new guy" Nic Comeau - not a single darn one turned out.

More Kevin action!

Sibling rivalry action!

Screaming action!

As for what they're up to next: I dunno.

Elmer, too

Monday was an easygoing kind of day. I cut through the main area and snapped a few pictures of Elmer Ferrer, a regular festival act, strutting his stuff on the Rogers Stage. He sounded a bit more rock this year; on previous occasions he's sported dual percussionists and a keyboardist; his band is a fourpiece the days.

Anders Drerup and Roberto Riveron.

The whole lot (including a largely obscured Rodney Barreto on drums.

This was a hit-and-run photoshoot - a few minutes later I was on my way to see Relief Maps.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

On the flats

After escaping from the main stage sardine can, I went off to the Black Sheep Stage. It was pretty well packed there too from what I could see, so I decided to go off and see The Flatlanders. I thought it would be pretty full on the River Stage, since Jimmie Dale Gilmore got a good crowd back when he played at one of the City Hall Bluesfests, but either his fans didn't recognize the Flatlanders name or they were all off watching the White Stripes. Pity, because Gilmore, Joe Ely and Butch Hancock (along with their assembled sidemen) put on a super show.

Rob Gjersoe has a handy repertoire of Telecaster licks.

G'night folks!

Off course that wasn't really the end, they came back for a few more tunes.

Now this is really the end.

The turnout was pretty average, but the show was dynamite - I saw Jim Bryson, among others, enjoying the sounds.


Leahy wasn't holding me, so I went off to immerse myself in the White Stripes crowd. I guess I've already made it clear I hate big crowds. After a few songs I split for a stage more amenable to moving about and/or breathing. I did snap a few pictures though. Here's the cream of the crap (no, that is not a typo).

Little Jack, big shadow.

Jumbotron-sized Jack White!

In the spotlight.

Sorry - no good Meg pictures. After venturing off to a less populated stage to see The Flatlanders, I returned to catch the end of their set. As documented earlier, I thought they sounded a lot better from outside the crushing crowd.

It's a family affair

After Shout Out Out Out Out's rambunctious set I had a bit of time to kill so I toodled over to see sibling Celtic sensations Leahy. "The pride of Lakefield, Ont.," are an eight-member family group that have had a roaring success in Canada in general but not with me in particular. They took a decent photo though.

These brothers like to fiddle about. I believe it's Donnell, Angus and Doug from left to right. (Sister Siobheann handles the bass.)

Donnell bows out.

Guitarist Maria and Doug share a laugh.

You can sort of make out drumming brother Frank behind his sound screen, can't you?

Fiddle faceoff action!

More fiddling! (There was actually quite a bit of it.)

The family also demonstrated a piece where they played without bows which they wrote to see what it would sound like.

Unfortunately I missed step-dancing sister Agnes and pianist Erin, but 75% isn't a bad grade now is it? They'll be back in town to perform at the NAC on Nov. 29-30, and with Natalie MacMaster Dec. 1.