Sunday I got out to the Virgin Festival to see some of my favorite bands all play in Deer Lake Park on the same day. I got there just in time to see Jarvis Cocker (the dude from Blur doh! I meant Pulp — thanks Joy) who wandered on stage looking more like a university prof than a rock star. He’s a fun dude to watch with all his goofy dance moves and deadpan delivery. He even gave out European chocolates to people! His show turned me into a big fan. I even texted Shan to tell her about his dancing since she’s all into dance.”Shan — Jarvis Cocker is doing those tut moves you showed me!”
So I already felt like I got my money’s worth with Jarvis’s show but Sonic Youth was up next on the main stage and they brought a wall of guitar noise to the place. This was my third Sonic Youth show and I think each show has been better than the last! They were on fire at this festival. Sonic Youth has been one of my all-time favorite bands ever since I discovered them in the mid-90’s when I was living in Calgary. Knowing I’d never have a chance to see Sonic Youth if I stayed in Alberta is one of the things that prompted me to head west. I’m so glad I made the move since you don’t get festivals this awesome in Alberta!
I didn’t realize that Metric was playing and was surprised when I realized they were on the schedule. The last time I saw them at Richards on Richards I wasn’t terribly impressed even though their previous show (opening for Sam Roberts at New Music West) blew me away. I’d written them off but was happy to check them out again since there were some good songs on the new album. Well they brought the thunder to the stage and I was impressed by the enthusiasm they brought to the show. All the press I read tonight pointed to Metric as the festival’s highlight.
After Metric I finally got to see Gomez, who played on the second stage in between Metric and Ben Harper. Gomez is a band from the UK that I listened to back when I moved to Vancouver in 2000 and I’ve always wanted to see them perform live. Everyone who’s ever seen them play has raved about their live show and I keep missing them when they come through town. So their set was as awesome as I’d heard that it would be and they even through in a cover of Led Zeppelin’s Bron Y Aur Stomp, which is my favorite Zeppelin song ever!
When I went to the Sasquatch festival earlier this year the last night was headlined by Ben Harper and his new blues-y band the Relentless 7. About half the crowd at Sasquatch had bailed since it was a Monday night and presumably people had to work the next day. Those of us who stayed were treated to an amazing performance by the band and it remains one of the highlights of my Sasquatch trip this year.
I was looking forward to seeing him again and, as I expected, he ripped! He threw in a cover of Zeppelin’s Good Times Bad Times which was a treat to watch. Mid-set there was a bit of a slow jam where I started losing interest but they jumped back into the heavy blues again and I was pulled back in.
So every band I saw was awesome and I count this as one of my musical highlights for the summer!
If anyone’s curious about Ben Harper’s new band I recommend the Relentless 7 show that Moshcam recorded in Australia earlier this year. Moshcam is my new favorite site and my friends are already getting sick of me constantly going on and on about how rad it is.