You may have seen my MFE for Iceland Airwaves, but I feel as though the remaining half of my non-Airwaves related journey was worth it’s own post.
If you have ever thought about traveling to Iceland, I cannot express more enthusiastically that you should go. Everything about that place is beautiful, in the most crushingly serene way. The people are beautiful and kind, the food is delicious (albeit expensive), and the scenery will take your breath away.
Almost everyone I know had their list of “must-see” places in the world, and Iceland was near the top of my list, so I am beyond ecstatic to have gone. Before my return flight even boarded, I was thinking of when and how I wanted to return.
So this post is a basic “to-do” travel guide & tips to the most beautiful place on earth.
This past August, I celebrated my 24th birthday, preempting myself for the “quarter-century crisis” that should have followed next year. I started freaking out, thinking of all the places I had yet to travel to; the goals and aspirations I had yet to achieve…the list goes on.
This is how I found myself spontaneously booking a trip to Iceland with some (at the time) relatively unknown acquaintances for Iceland Airwaves 2011 (see below for a cool video montage of the festival). For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to go to Iceland. I think I maybe have bizarre travel habits (remember my last adventure, driving to the Yukon?)–the idea of Iceland; barren, desolate; serene and empty has always called to me. This October, I was finally able to answer, spending a whirlwind of 9 days between the greatest music festival I have ever been to; hot springs; horseback riding; and the Arctic Circle. We ate some amazing food, met beautiful people (Iceland is full of babes), and experienced one of the greatest countries on earth. I’m going to throw down this Most Fun Ever into two parts: Iceland Airwaves, and Iceland Adventuring.
Redeye to Reykjavik
Departing YYZ at 9pm for Reykjavik, I was fortunate enough to be seated with two fellow T.O blogger/photogs–Frank Yang of Chromewaves, and Carrie Musgrave, both of whom were in town to cover Airwaves (check out their photos! Beautiful!) We headed North, on an overnight flight set to arrive at 6:30am Reykjavik time. Iceland Air is seriously your cheapest way to get to Iceland. Our flight was really affordable and just over 5hrs!
Arriving in Keflavik was like a dream. It was absolutely freezing, dark, cold and windy (we left Toronto in a 30 degree heat wave over Thanksgiving, remember? ) The airport is 45 minutes outside of Reykjavik, and the road runs through a lava field. As the sun rose on our drive into the city, I knew we were in the most beautiful place on earth.
My companions and I stayed at Reykjavik4you Apartments right in the heart of downtown. With a kitchen & a “Bonus” (Iceland’s equivalent to No Frills) next door, we were set for 8 crazy nights of music, food, and adventure. In a haze after we landed, we spent our first day (and really, our only day with sunshine during the trip) picking up our passes, and making a game plan for what we were going to see the first day of the festival, which started the next day.
Iceland Airwaves is one of the best curated festivals I’ve ever been to. At first glance, I wasn’t overly impressed with the line-up, but after spending some time checking out bands online, I was totally blown away. The schedule at each venue was tight, and the bands were a wonderful mix of hip Iceland-based groups and largely Canadian/U.S. artists.
As part of the festival, 200 tickets were available to see Bjork. FOR FREE. I nearly died of happiness. So, on the second day of our trip, we ended up waiting in line for 3 hours in the freezing cold for tickets…to much success.
Bjork performed at Harpa, which is like being inside of an Escher painting, for real. It’s one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever been in, and seeing her there was intense. In a 500 person room, Bjork performed material from her newest album, Biophillia, which was narrated by David Attenborough(?!?!) Seriously, this is one of the best shows I have EVER been to. If you have the opportunity to see her on this tour (assuming she comes to North America), I would highly recommend it at any cost.
After that, we headed to NASA to see some Icelandic bands. Of all of the shows we saw at Airwaves, Of Monsters and Men were hands down one of the best of the fest. They’re coming to Toronto on November 13th @ the El Mo and you should go.
Toronto Does Iceland
As part of my press cred, we were taken on a day-long “Press Trip” where we were taken to see the Bedroom CommunityRecording Studios just outside of the city. They’re a really beautiful label that seems to specialize in songs for lovers.Owen Pallett is recording his upcoming album there, and I would venture to say it’s going to be stunningly beautiful. Next, we were taken to the Outside Air Museum, which seems to be Reykjavik’s equivalent to Black Creek Pioneer Village. Queue a half hour tour in crazy wind, cold and sleet that culminated in downing shots of Brennevin and eating dried fish underground in a farmhouse.
Next, we were taken to the shore, where we were set to go “sea swimming”–sea swimming is a process that involves running into the water, submerging your body up to your neck for a minimum of 15 seconds, then running into a hot tub. It was so exhilarating! The water was beyond freezing. We’re talking 5-6 degrees here. But so worth it, and definitely something I can see as having enormous health benefits!
With a belly full of Brennevin, I hit up Owen Pallett’s set at Idno, with Puzzle Muteson opening. We had full intentions of hitting up the TuNe YaRdS, but I ended up vetoing that in favour of this set. You’re probably thinking–you went all the way to Iceland to see bands from Toronto? Yes. But let me explain why.
Your favourite bands are your favourite bands no matter where you see them. And see Owen Pallett and Austra’s mind-blowing sets were an incredible experience. I feel as though I got to see some local fare that was truly wonderful, but also see some more well-known bands who I knew would put on a show (James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem fame did a DJ set which I would also like to include in this list as being in-fucking-credible. That man knows his music like you would not believe).
Blue, blue lagoon
On the second last day of the festival, Iceland Airwaves hosts a “hang over” party at the Blue Lagoon, which is about 45 minutes outside of the city. This is a must see if you are ever in Iceland. It’s beautiful, and touristy and inexpensive for a day of spa relaxation. And trust me, after 5 straight days of drinking and staying out late (many bars in Reykjavik are open until 4am, and serving!) There was a DJ, mud masks and in true Icelandic fashion, not one but TWO hailstorms while we were enjoying the saltiest water on Earth. The geography nerd in me would also like to point out that at the Blue Lagoon you straddle two continental plates! Neat!
So with that, I wrap up my coverage of Iceland Airwaves. But stay tuned for a full-blown travel guide to Iceland, featuring Icelandic ponies, the Arctic Circle, and some of the best the country has to offer.
Plus – check out this rad Iceland Airwaves montage!
Round 1: Two of the most celebrated and recognized names in dubstep, Skream and Benga returned to Toronto last Friday night at the Guvernment as a third stop on their North American Tour. It has been a while since I’ve subjected myself to the levels of bass at a show like I experienced that night and oh boy, did I ever tear up the dance floor. I think I lost weight that night by simply sweating, it was hot in there.
Skream’s slammers and Benga’s bangers brought pure energy throughout the night and moments of madness where it literally felt like the dance floor was shaking. They also threw in some house and electro hooks that really brightened up the atmosphere at The Guvernment. They kept things a bit dancier, even sampling some moombahton like Dillon Francis as if they could read my mind.
They stood on a large platform at the centre of the stage, bouncing on their toes both looking like the energizer bunny. At one point, the stage elevated into the sky making me want to go to the back on the venue because I could not see a thing. There I started to talk to some people about the show and for most attendees this was not their first time seeing the duo.
“Dubstep is LIFE!” – Rob Cooney
“I’m here for the filthy drops and madddd basssss!” -Lazar
“They are the kings of dubstep!” – Chelsea and Elizabeth
“They are the truth.” – Evan and Ana
“Why am I here? Well because I LOVE dubstep clearly!!!” – Kalis
Round 2: As if I couldn’t get enough of these boys, I hopped on a plane the next day to see them again in New York City at the legendary Terminal 5. I was walking with a friend to grab dinner before the show and we walked by Yotel and noticed a guy who looked similar to Skream and tweeted about it. I got an instant reply from Skream saying “lol it was me” and got word that he was playing alongside Dillon Francis a disco set after the show at Yotel. It was a no brainer, I had to go to the afterparty.
I arrived at Terminal 5 for Hard’s Haunted Mansionfeaturing Skream and Benga, Joker, Dillon Francis, Gesaffelstein, and Destructo. Terminal 5 reminded me of Circa. Large concert/club venue, three floors, and you can loose your friends instantly. I noticed a whole lot of kids with marked x’s on their hands and didn’t know that this show was all ages. Most were in Halloween costumes. I would’ve dressed up if somebody gave me the memo.
Not gunna lie though, I was most anxious to see Dillon Francis. There is a very special place in my heart for moombahton and I just melt when I hear it. Dillon’s tracks make my body move in ways it’s supposed to move behind closed doors. I’d say his most recent single “I.D.G.A.F.O.S” was hands down a big crowd pleaser. He also threw disposable cameras into the crowd for people to take snapshots of eachother as project he was starting. If anyone is reading this and was there and has one of his cameras… give it back to him! My picture was taken and I need a new Facebook profile picture.
“Stop the moshpit. It’s sexy time!” – Dillon Francis
Skream and Benga played a very similar set to what i’ve witnessed the night before. Filthy drops, plenty of wobbly bottom ends, heavy bassbin action and even ravier, trance influenced stuff on their chart topping album as Magnetic Man. Let’s face it, Skream and Benga know how to work a crowd anywhere they go. Progressively, intelligently, and beautifully.
After the show I immediately went over to the very slick, glass-fronted Yotel where you get that Starship Enterprise feeling as you walk into the main lobby. Up the elevator I went and Dillon Francis was on deck already out with his disco set.
Check out a clip of Skream’s disco set: Skream Disco Set Yotel NYC
Catch the Rest of Skream and Benga’s Fall North American Tour:
27-Oct Flames Central – Calgary AB
28-Oct Edmonton Event Centre – Edmonton AB
29-Oct HARD Haunted Mansion – Los Angeles CA
31-Oct First Bank Centre – Denver CO
2-Nov New Earth Music Hall – Athens GA (Benga only)
3-Nov Roxy – Orlando FL (Benga only)
4-Nov Royal Oak Music Hall – Royal Oak MI (Benga only)
5-Nov Midland Theatre – Kansas City MO (Benga only
Toronto Show Photo Cred: Jessica McCauley
Pink Mafia came out to represent at Camp Bisco X in full effect but getting there was one hell of a trip. Directions were strange. Lineups hellish. Shuttle buses didn’t show up at the Amtrak Station as promised (or not as frequently). Promises weren’t kept on certain ticketed VIP items (more to come on that). But more importantly, the heat was in full force. Ravers and hippies alike were in full force on the grounds of the Indian Lookout Country Club this weekend during the 10th annual sold out Camp Bisco.
Camp Bisco is a festival started by experimental electronic group The Disco Biscuits. I hadn’t heard of them prior to Camp Bisco and apparently, I wasn’t the only one. There were others I had talked to throughout the course of the weekend who hadn’t either but apparently if you were someone who had been to Bisco before, you would be familiar.
The crowd seemed to be full of fthe Burning Man-esq variety, walking around with posters of trippy visuals, glosticks, large fire displays and other art towers. Guess this helped with one of the acts – Shpongle, who performed their first ever live set in the United States, Friday at the festival who had more of an experimental sound.
Despite the more hippy atmosphere of Bisco, the festival was packed with the hottest acts in modern dubstep and electro, which I was SUPER stoked on. The 100+ artist lineup was completed with some live performances by recently reunited Death from Above 1979 and instrumental electronic duo Ratatat, Das Racist, Wiz Khalifa, MSTKRFT, Skrillex, 12th Planet and more.
This festival had no rules, as the security were bikers. But there were some downfalls – at some points, security would not let people bring drinks, including water into the main stage area. In the extreme heat, it seemed people were made to buy water at all points throughout the day. The VIP tickets were promised showers, which at several points throughout the weekend I heard from several people that there was no water for a shower. ATMs kept being empty. VIPs were only promised free water, which I was told wasn’t supplied. However, this did get a catered lunch. Kind of a mess.
The most important thing about Camp Bisco was the music which the festival totally delivered on. Below is some of my top picks from the weekend. Camp Bisco satisfied my hunger for all musical needs: dubstep, electro, hip hop, indie, rock, dance and everything in between. That was the great thing about Camp Bisco – it catered to just about anyone and everyone. I totally believe that I’m ready, willing and able to attend Camp Bisco 11 next year, as I learned some SUPER valuable lessons this year.
Most Obnoxious DJ: Skrillex
Okay, the dude is talented. But is it really necessary to pull up in his golf cart prior to his set and have a million and one photo “sessions” with his fans. I get what he is trying to but please.
Oddly Empty Set: Death from Above 1979
I’m assuming this had a lot to do with the huge thunderstorm. So sad.
Best Comeback Set: Das Racist
Considering how horrible they were at their live show in Toronto, I was considering the absolute worst for this set. But they were oddly really good. I was insanely impressed. Thanks for proving me wrong, guys.
Best Curated Tent: Mad Decent Tropical Tent
Jillionaire, Dillion Francis and Nadastrom murdered this tent. Everyone was on their feet dancing. All I can say is Bisco, kudos on giving Mad Decent their own tent. To Jillionaire, Dillion Francis and Nadastrom – thanks for making my weekend. If I can make a suggestion, you should also give the Trouble & Bass crew their own curated tent next year as well. Udachi held his own in his set.
Best Jazz Flute In a Set: Shpongle (Live)
Waking up to Shpongle soundchecking on Friday morning and hearing jazz flute. It became our joke for the entire weekend. I don’t get the big deal over Shpongle. Maybe because I’m not a hippie? But we’ll always have jazz flute.
Best Overall Set: Ratatat
I won’t lie, I think they may have been one of the best sets. I have been waiting to see them live for some time now. WOW. Just WOW.
Best Use of Dance Tunes: MSTRKRFT and Ghostland Observatory
I didn’t think it was possible to throw in any more 90s dance tracks but HOLY HELL. It was like a mashup of the oldschool with the newschool. My feet loved every minute of it.
Photos by Kelly McElwain
Well, that sure was fun. Beautiful weather, cold beer and a fantastic line up of music; I can think of worse ways to spend my days. With a hop, skip and a subway (plus one short bus ride) we arrived at Downsview Park to check in and get a proper lay of the land before the jam-packed day began.
I Immediately noticed the absense of any beer gardens, spare one “VIP” area. The modernization of Ontario’s liquor laws back on June 1st certainly has it’s perks – underage drinking have never been so easy! The rainy shit show that was Edgefest 2009 found my friend trying to sneak her sister into the beer gardens to no avail then having to balance her time/fight the mobs to get back in when she wanted to drink. Needless to say she had a terrible time, so I guess losening the belt is a good thing?
Kicking off the main stage and perfectly setting the tone for our day of music, the hometown heros powered through a wickedly loud set, so loud that even as we began our day of stage crawling to the side stage, you could hear their waves of sound between the pauses in Sandmand Viper Command’s set.
SANDMAN VIPER COMMAND
The army of SVCers donning the excellently designed ‘What Is A Sandman Viper Command’ t-shirts lined the stage front and center but these two dudes discovered then tried to grind the posters just after the set.
While there are many perks to covering a festival as media, I’m a simple girl to please. The best perk according to me: salvation from the dreadful portable shitholes. I mean, seriously, there has to be some kind of standards. Luck for me since it was sweltering, I was privy to AC, hardwood flooring, wall paper and of course 102.1 The Edge playing softly in the background.
I don’t know what it is about the trumpet that just pulls me in everytime. Perhaps the likeness to an elephant call? Whatever the reason, Michou’s bubbly folk pop went perfectly with the sunshine.
It seemed as though the Arkells sparked the trend that would flourish into extreme awesomeness by day’s end in having members of The Reason and Dinosaur Bones join them on stage for set closer ‘John Lennon’. Mike DeAngelis easily wins best Summer festival outfit. Oh yeah, during the set this guy almost kicked me in the face…which is why they kick photogs out of the pits after 3 songs I guess. Thanks to the babe who saved me.
As I was walking through the grounds, I spotted a circle of dudes and excitedly ran over to see if they were engaged in some chinlone, but alas, it was only a game of hacky sack. The other thing I noticed was a sever lack of garbage/recycling recepticals. I know they pay people to clean up the festival grounds and all, but they could have made their work load 10,000 blooming onions lighter by having them more accessible.
I live in Toronto, I have their EP and they are no strangers to Pink Mafia…how have I never seen them live before? I’m glad I’ve finally crawled out of the rock I’ve been under because they’re fantastic.
TOKYO POLICE CLUB
How rad is Graham Wright’s Radio 3 t-shirt? After a brief opening snafu, our favourite indie rockers played all our favourite singles ending the set once again with some stage crashing by the Arkells and Dinosaur Bones during ‘Your English Is Good’.
Since I’ll never be able to see a band like CCR or the late 60s to mid 70s Allman Brothers rock live, I’m so glad The Sheepdogs exist. While the poles have closed, here’s hoping they land the cover of the Rolling Stone – TBA August 18th.
That booming smile you see on John Samson’s face which he donned during the entire set echoed my sentiments exactly. The fans of headliners A Perfect Circle/Rise Against however, did not feel the same way and took to the lawn for a snooze. At the very least, you’d think nostalgia for Propagandhi may have peaked curiosity?
Hollerado’s biggest fan getting autographs to add to her adorable hand-drawn scrapbook:
Who knew Menno Versteeg could fly? The band’s singer lept what seemed like an eternity in a single bound over the photo pit and into the crowd for few a sing-a-longs. I also take back what I said about best dressed, Dean Baxter’s t-shirt of Jake Boyd takes the cake. Not only did this set include Branko Scekic’s mad free-stlye skills but had members of Dinosaur Bones, Sandman Viper Command and The Reason all joining on stage for a cover of Neil Young’s ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’.
“I went to Edgefest and all I got was this shitty tattoo”. Instead of catching any of A Perfect Circle or Rise Against’s sets we heard this rumor flying around that someone was doing free tattoos. They weren’t free, but Brent Seyffert from Entertainment Ink was super awesome and not the least bit sketchy…for being a mobile tattoo artist, that is. While tattoos ranged from a treble clef, a feather and some ancient hobo code, my favourite has to be the accidental Mercedes-Benz peace sign tattoo.
Thanks for the time Edgefest. Until next year! x
Words and photos by Kate Masewich
This weekend I did something I hadn’t done in years: I went to S.C.E.N.E. Music Festival. Once upon a time when I was all bright eyed and bushy tailed, my best friend and I used to head to the annual festival in St. Catherines and fight our way through the mobs of like-minded youthful punks to catch sets by Alexisonfire, Boys Night Out and Johnny Truant – and then wait for our moms at the bus stop. This past Sunday I returned to a festival that helped shape my musical self and while I may have made considerable improvements to my wardrobe, it was as though the city was stuck in some sort of time-space continuum, underage drinking et al. While remaining rooted in their punk/hardcore/alternative ways, the festival has grown in recent years to include a larger number of indie bands in the 160+ bands they boast on their single day roster. 8am I was up and at them to catch a ride in the “Fun Bus” which was initially supposed to be a van albeit Mazda has a very different definition of the vehicle. We arrived in no time and I had time to kill before the craziness so assisted on poster detail. Seriously no matter where we turned The Saucy Chicken had been there and done it better. Kudos to their marketing campaign, J.D Power and Associates will be contacting them soon I’m sure. Just as we headed back to Market Square to check in, kids starting coming out of the wood-works, filling the streets with their ill-advised and adorable fashion sense. Ah, to be young. The 1pm starting slot kind of blows as fans and bands alike were still flooding in to the city so between Cunter and The Love Machine’s sets we went to check out the latter. A fantastic live band, their power pop was the perfect way to start my day of music. It’s a shame more people weren’t there to catch this set. Because I had a bunch of interviews scheduled (which you can look forward to reading Friday), I set up camp in the Audio Blood VIP lounge at Cache for some cold beers and jager shots. The line-up was totally staked so I got to watch an afternoon of amazing set after amazing set by The Archives, Elk, The Coppertone and crowd favourites Sandman Viper Command; all before taking off to explore some of the other venues around the city.
The Archives: The Coppertone:
Sandman Viper Command:
Our first stop post-Cache was Patrick Sheehan’s to catch the garage soul meets rock n’ roll stylings of Modernboys Moderngirls. I really dug their set but apparently not nearly as much as the sound guy did. We had planned on catching Freedom Or Death at Mansion House but the venue got shut down because some dick hole in an earlier band caused a riot and forced the venue to shut down for the day so instead we got to enjoy some drinks with new pal Keith during the set instead. We walked past a haze of smoke created by Wildlife’s set at City Lights to go check out Paper Lionsat the Chilli Pepper but they had scratched their set. Word is a band member was under the weather and if that was the case I hope you get well soon! We doubled back to Wildlife and I’m super glad because that was one of my favourite sets of the day. Next, it was off to the venue formerly known as Big Bucks, Barracuda Pretty, to catch some of Dead and Devine’s set before The Balconies. I love chicks with moxy and all but there are some things girls shouldn’t do and one of those is crowd surfing during a hardcore show. I’m sure it could have happened to anyone but this particular girl had a trauma-induced seizure and that shit isn’t cool. From what I understood she was fine and things settled but not for long as The Balconies seemingly appeared out of nowhere and powered through a fast-paced and extremely energetic set. I decided to split from the group and catch some of Cancer Bats‘ set to really relive my former S.C.E.N.E. days from what I thought was the safety of the photo pit. Not even a song in and the bouncer had scooped me up bear-hug styles due to soaring limbs flying from every direction. Just after I ducked out Liam Cormier jumped into the crowd which really caused the audience to lose their shit. By this point we were starving so on advice from a friend we tried to hit The Office for their killer ceasers but alas, they were close. Many thanks to the adorable waiter at the random restaurant we ended up at for attempting to make a ceaser for us, but V8 with a strawberry just isn’t the same. Refuelled it was off to Brett Caswell& the Marquee Rose back at Cache where the band was literally stopping traffic. Cars came to full halts, people were hanging out windows on the street to listen and passers-by who hadn’t even heard of the band were singing along by the end of songs – myself included. I had planned on catching Indian Handcrafts and The Wooden Sky to end my excruciatingly long day but I’m getting old and the Fun Bus was loaded so instead I was escorted back home with a delightful sing-a-long. Good music, good friends, good times. I definitely won’t wait so long to return to S.C.E.N.E.
Words and photos by Kate Masewich
“Don’t follow me, I’m following my bliss.”
Over 4,300 km’s and less than four days recovery from last week’s NXNE, I found myself on the edge of the country – literally, on gorgeous Vancouver Island for Radio Contact’s second annual Tall Tree Music Festival. An epic reunion with some very dear friends, along with an excuse to party to west coast music while taking in one of the most magnificent views in the world, was enough to apply for next year’s accred already.
Just a short 2 hour drive from Victoria, BC, Port Renfrew boasts breathtaking ocean views, and home to Canada’s oldest (and maybe tallest) Douglas Fir. So hey, let’s get naked and dance around it! With a lineup including Aidan Knight, Kuba Oms, and Vince Vaccaro, why would we keep our clothes on?
Naturally, we cut it down and carved Pink Mafia into it.*
This guy’s into it.
Our campsites were scattered around the perimeter of Brown’s Mountain, each area naturally sectioned off with broom & brush. Facing the mountain were two modest stages creating a natural amphitheater.
Mindil Beach Markets
The return to nature that this generation is slowly embracing has branched out into music as well, creating a fairly successful platform for many festivals around the world. From heavy hitters like Coachella to the budding MTK festival in East Hampton, you can’t bat an eyelash without hearing about a new reason to get your groove on in the out-of-doors. The debate is, how respectful are these gatherings in the long run, when the area is clearly being ‘raided’ by human touch – which I delicately say when I really mean, we shit, piss, and throw garbage all around.
Tall Tree is another story however. The organizers of the fest are directly involved with the Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce and the Ancient Forest Alliance. Basically, the latter ensures the protection and sustainable development of old-growth forests including Avatar Grove, an old-growth stand just outside of Port Renfrew. The hard working Radio Contact team busted their balls getting together the party of the summer, and stuck around after to make sure not a single can was left behind.
The boys of Radio Contact Productions
Woodpile arts collective joined in this year, creating interactive art exhibits around the mountain.
We met so many incredible people on Brown’s Mountain, we wondered how Victoria was surviving with out all the good vibrations. We woke up the first night in a little bit of shock to our surroundings but Jeremy quickly swooped us away into the warmth of a fantastic mug of Bailey’s & coffee.
This is Jer a few hours later.
Tall Tree is completely non-profit and gives back proceeds to the community. All workers (Hustlers!) volunteer their time in trade for a compensated ticket.
Victoria’s Higher Ground Clothing Gallery sponsored the event and a ramp was specially built just for the fest.
Thank goodness for Steven’s tent, which was more like a home extension and leather workshop outside of his VW van. Feather headbands were just the tip of his iceberg of talent. Check out more of his work here.
Fight in the Fields
The Tyler Harvey Band was amazing, and brought us all together with a cover of R. Kelly’s Ignition.
My camera couldn’t capture the two black baby bears or the true majesty of the eagles that constantly hovered over us, but I promise you it didn’t hurt the overall effect this magical place had on a city chick like me.
I have been to hundreds of concerts and many festivals, but there was something truly unique about our time overlooking Port Renfrew. Maybe it was the people, maybe it was the music, maybe it was our million dollar view, but what I know for sure is that Pink Mafia will be going back next year.
**No Douglas Fir’s were harmed in the reporting of this event.
All photos © Courtney Lee Photography 2011
Every year I look forward to the weather warming and our wonderful city coming to life… one of the best ways the T.O. comes together is the Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity. I’m sure we all know what I’m talking about it’s a spectacular 10 day multi-disciplinary celebration of theatre, dance, music, literature, food, visual arts, fashion, film, magic and more which takes over Toronto’s public stages, streets, spaces.
All the buzz about Bollywood and the IIFA taking over T.O. I decided my first stop on the Luminato train would be TAJ an emotional dance-theatre production from Lata Pada’s Sampradaya Dance Company, starring Bollywood’s Kabir Bedi and Canada’s Lisa Ray.
The Taj Mahal is one of the greatest wonders of the world, the epic story of emperor’s Shah Jahan devotion to his wife, Lata Pada’s artistic direction delivers the tale with a twist of dance and theatre. The simple yet beautiful costume and set design brings you to the splendor to Mughal dynasty. I found myself wanting a little more dance and excitement, but just then the words from the script written by playwright John Murrell awoke me with lines such as “the moon out ran the sun”. Little did I know these words would weave a tale of political strife, family turmoil and agony all directed under the eye of Tom Diamond. I must say this was a powerful commissioned piece for the festival that truly brought the grandeur of this wonder alive. (Photos courtesy of Divine Method Photography)
I walked in automatically my eyes had to squint to adjust to the dark dim underground the resembled a bunker if you ask me, as went down the stairs we were greeted by men dressed in full army fatigue armed with AKs, barking German shepherds. I swear, as I almost peed myself before I got to my sit. Once I regained my composer I was like this is where Necessary Angel Theatre Company is showing their modernized take on Jean Racine’s Andromaque, I was puzzled but not for long.
The key pieces of the post-war Troy myth are woven into this re-invention, Troy is replaced with Iraq where the war has ended and the empire is in turmoil. The story follows the ruler of the crumbled empire who lust after his slave, the recently widowed Andromache (who is updated to a Muslim woman) she shows him no sign of interest yet the ruler presses on… all this time having a wife I forgot to add. Imagine the mental anguish for the wife that witnesses her husband’s infatuation for his slave and now imagine being enslaved with constant demands of pleasing her master or face sacrificing the life of her son. A bit much I know, but when you strip it down you realize the characters soon find themselves in a dramatic tragedy showcasing real human passion full of lust, and the desire for power which leads to inhuman atrocities fueled by their unrequited passion for one another. (Photos courtesy of Michael Cooper)
The minute I heard “Vodavil” was here for Luminato I knew it was a must, and for those who don’t know what I’m talking about its “vaudeville” describes a circuit of performers who traveled from city to city in 1890s until the 1930s- singing, dancing, pantomime, juggling, comedy and well magic.
The MC of the night so to speak was Mike Caveney who is known for his unique routines perfectly fitting to his dry comedic wit. He doesn’t tell jokes but you won’t stop laughing and his tricks are something amazing. (Like when he was spinning a cup of coffee on a wheel and throwing it in the air and catching it without spilling a drop… well there was one time the cup fell and broke.
Tina Lenert opened the night with her charming silent comedy filled with magic to give you an enchanting experience especially with “Maid in Heaven,” where a Debbie Downer, a frumpy cleaning lady is magically transformed and finds a new her with the aid of her trusty cleaning cart. I spotted Tina throughout the show with a few cameos but I (heart) her for going straight old school with the art of illusion using the rings and scarf for her second act.
Gaëtan Bloom is the man, he is truly gifted and is the master of absurd as they say and I see why. He had me on the edge my seat like a five year old, he’s quite foremost a showman who brings his art to life. Before my eyes he cut the cable to the mic and attached again with a string… I know, you don’t believe. His closing card trick is probably hands down the best I’ve seen… he chopped up lettuce, grapefruit, orange and kiwi and threw it into box (weird I know). After he put his hand in the box and pulled out a single head of lettuce only to take off all the leaves and BAM there was the grapefruit, peeled the grapefruit BAM the orange, peeled the orange BAM the kiwi and then he cut the kiwi open to expose the card… insane, I know I saw with my own two eyes.
Ardan James is pretty awesome, an original mixed media performer who has knack for physical illusionist who loves to use ventriloquism to draw the audience in, but if you ask me with a smile and charm like that I was already hooked.
The Great Tomsoni and Company are simply hilarious… the onstage dialogue is filled with comedy, drama and good old fun and best of all they do the magic I LOVE. I mean real magic, the Great Tomsoni is a living legend and probably one of the few that Masters of magic we have left. Tomsoni performed the classics that we all love; pulling millions of scarves, birds and other apparatuses… the best is when he pulled the bird from his sleeve and it flew in the air, AMAZING. This had to be the best fun I had in awhile, I was intrigued the entire show and laughed til my tummy ached… what more can you ask for.
BTW… we all know I couldn’t miss one of my fave fashion designers Denis Gagnon who teamed up with Lancôme to design a modern dress for based on the whimsical Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It was stunning, as if you expected anything less.
As always Luminato NEVER disappoints and I thank them every year for enriching our beautiful city!!!
P.S. I got to checkout the National Ballet of Canada’s Alice Adventures in Wonderland, please click for the story.
You know that closing scene in Ang Lee’s ‘Taking Woodstock’ where Elliot stares into the sea of disarray and says “beautiful”? That’s how I feel about this year’s edition of NXNE. If you were following @pinkmafia4life on Twitter at all during the week then you’d know that we
partied worked our asses off! This year’s festival was an explosion of awesome parties and incredible showcases – and we have the pictures to prove it. On top of all of the festival highlights we somehow managed to squeeze in hang outs with some of the best new Canadian bands for our #PopUpNXNE series, which you can eagerly look forward to reading Thursday.
The ladies of Pink Mafia divided, concured and complied our favourite moments of the festival, so have a look won’t ya?
Kate, Katie and Courtney’s NXNE Picks:
Words by Kate Masewich
All photos © Courtney Lee Photography 2011
Passes in hand, we officially started our week on the Bellevue patio for some folkin’ incredible performances by two of my new favourites Emma Hill and Revelstoke who both brought tears to my eyes for the first of two Audio Blood showcases for the week.
The Nevado Records showcase provided an instant surge of energy upon entry to the Rivoli with a cover of the Ramones debut album performed by The Meligrove Band with bass player Michael Small on vocals for the very first time totally killing it. The Paint Movement and Library Voices each kept the energy levels high, but Yukon Blonde wins my vote for best performance of the night which subsequently took my voice for the rest of the week.
Thursday was going to be a long ass day so we wasted no time and headed to the fantastic space on Queen St. known as the Analogue Gallery for an afternoon of amazing music and Argentinean BBQ courtesy of Slapback Media.
We were really digging Ireland’s Meet the Blue and the acoustic set by Forest City Lovers. We wanted to stick around to see Modernboys Moderngirls, The Elwins and Neil Quin (Zeus) but it was off to the rooftop for Audio Blood’s #ABDOESNXNE annual bash. Of all the parties we attended, this was my favourite for the great performances by The Balconies, Sandman Viper Command and Hands & Teeth, not to mention all the amazing people in the Audio Blood family. In fact, we had such a good time we missed the The Verge’s rooftop party that we also heard was wicked fun.
Instead of going to The Dodos & Deerhoof show at the Phoenix as planned we made our own ‘secret show’ on the patio of Terroni’s with friends for some much needed nourishment which oddly turned into one of two delicious Italian meals (the other at Mercatto). Call it carbo loading, I guess.
Our bike brigade then peddled to the Silver Dollar for some heavily debated performances by Crocodiles and Dirty Beaches where 1/2 our group dug Crocodiles but not Dirty Beaches and vice versa but all unanimously enjoyed an ass-kicking set by Chains of Love. 7/11 taquitos and Cash For Life brunch to follow.
During NXNE there is no such thing as sleeping, I mean not really anyways. Friday we rolled out of bed for some Hyatt rooftop pool QT with The Balconies then headed to Bellwoods for a Stella with the totally rad Enjoy Your Pumas. I’d been dying to try the Jager snow cones I was promised at the Jagermeister & Exclaim! Annual BBQ Bash and they were good…by the end.
If I had to pick a favourite night for shows it would have to be Friday, not because of the bands per say, but for the company kept at each show. Indian Handcrafts completely slayed at El Mo and Paper Lions literally had the floor bouncing at Sneaks.
I’ve talked about how much I dig Heavy Cream before but I’ll say it again: their slot at the Comfort Zone totally rocked. I happened to hear Powers as I was leaving so I popped in to catch the last bit at the Silver Dollar and I’m really glad I did. Sneaks had a huge swarm of people trying to get in all night so we headed back for an aggressively sweaty and outrageous set by Sheezer to “end” our night of shows.
Chains of Love+ Ronnie’s = the best Saturday morning topped off with some vintage shopping in the afternoon with Loom. DOM apparently cancelled last minute and I had no idea so when we got to YDS we were surprised to see The Coppertone instead. They ruled and Amanda Zelina is a mega babe as per usual. We stayed to check out Cults where Katie almost had to use her first aid training to save a life.
Because we had already experienced so, so many amazing shows in what seemed like an eternity, we thought we’d chill out at the Braids and Chad VanGaalen show at The Great Hall. Braid’s just blew us away especially since singer Raphie played through food poisoning and still sounded better than I ever could.
We missed the boat for BrooklynVegan’s jam with Ty Segall but when it was announced he was the “secret guest” at Bovine later our chilled night was debunked. We beat out the throngs of people who showed later to have a beer with Russ Tiffin the photographer behind the amazing True Believers book who shared his polaroid’s from the Sharks and Hot Water Music show at the Opera House earlier that night. I was bummed to have missed Sharks until we ran into the band on the street who were enjoying a quick meatball sub.
After putting our bodies through hell all week anyways, it only made sense to ride that wave all the way to the Horseshoe for an awesomely energetic 3AM performance by the Commandeers. If you’ve seen them before it was no shock to see Nathan’s shirt pop off 2 chords into to first song. Last stop was the new New Ho King for a Shanghai sunrise.
Sunday in the park was the perfect way to end our NXNE experience after some Hot Beans with Neon Windbreaker first, of course. The wonderful men of Young Lions Music Club and Humble Empire who joined forces to organize the Live in Bellwoods shows deserve a standing O/shots for life for the ensemble of talented bands we got to enjoy entirely for free. Sunday was spent with the insanely talented Hands & Teeth, a unique “cover” of The Time’s ‘Ice Cream Castles’ by DD/MM/YYYY, some crowd participation with Jess Hill, bubbles and Megan Bonnell and some good things that came to those who waited for Teenage Kicks.
*A special photo set of the final day of Live in Bellwoods will be published on Courtney Lee Photography later this week.
Ama’s NXNE picks
Words and photos below by Ama Scriver
I had not heard much about The Postelles prior to attending their show at the Garrison on June 15th. But what I had heard on the NXNE site was poppy and delightful. Plus, The Postelles show had been showing up on many “Must See” lists through out the city, so I knew this show would be one not to miss. Boy, was I glad I didn’t. With their catchy hooks and surf-rock retro guitars, the boys did an amazing job of sound funky fresh, excited and familiar. I think the two things I loved best about the performance was the band cover of Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog to much fanfare (see video here) and Jonathan Dekel (of Neon Windbreaker fame) singing vocals on their final song. Excellent performance, that wholeheartedly made me a fan.
The secret performer for Wednesday night at the Garrison was Montreal based psych-rock band Suuns. The performance was haunting and deep. Yet it gave off something almost evil. While I liked what they were doing, I wasn’t totally in love withwhat they were doing. They are almost confusingly eclectic at times (with synths and guitars and moody vocals) but I just didn’t feel captured. Enraptured. Whatever you want to call it, really. It seemed though I might have been the only one feeling that way. Maybe it was me.
I was really excited to finally get a chance to see Pick A Piper. I mean, this is kind of like a Canadian supergroup comprising of Caribou’s Brad Weber, Angus Fraser of Tenthof May, ex-Winter Equinox Dan Roberts and Clint Scrivener. Not bad, if you ask me. What made me kind of sad was that the audience kind of cleared out once the band took the stage. Not their fault, at all. They were played a shitty ass time slot. Wednesday at 1AM. BOO. But Brad Weber remarkable energy and the group’s amazing set let rewarded those who stuck through with them to the end of their set. One thing to note about Pick a Piper – their sound is VERY similar to Caribou. But really, is that a bad thing? I would think not.
So I had never seen Sandman Viper Command previously. But thanks to the team at Audio Blood Media, I was able to check them out at their Rooftop Party on Thursday. This four-piece from Burlington have got a serious sound to them with California sound. They provided epic jams to a great afternoon. Next up were The Balconies. This Ottawa come Toronto band know how to put on a serious show. But that might have a lot to do with Jacquie Neville’s searing vocals and intensity on-stage. The Balconies are clearly one of the hottest Canadian bands to watch right now and this performance (on a rooftop under a clear blue sky) cemented why. If they are in front of a big or small audience, they are enjoying themselves on stage and loving the music they are making. Steve Neville and Liam Jaeger (the other member of the Balconies) compliment each other so well. With one part mature/gutsy vocal sound, funky base vibe, thrashy guitar and intricate drums – The Balconies provide something unique.
Everyone who is anyone was at Wrongbar for Fucked Up’s 1AM performance, including the media elite, socialites and punk kids. Packed to the very back of the room, these local hardcore heros shook Parkdaleto its core with its crowd swallowing mosh pit., which some looked absolutely frightened by. Damian Abraham mounted the stage and kicked off 30 minutes of sweat soaked insanity sending everything from bodies, beer and shoes flying. The band kept up providing the audacious score against the summer heat. For those that missed this set, sucks to be you.
I have heard that Modernboys Moderngirls rock out like nothing out during their sets. Upon arrival at the El Mo on Friday, there were maybe 20 people in the venue during their set. Couldn’t blame them. It was 9PM, which is still early by Friday standards. Anyways, Modernboys Moderngirls started their set, and I can indeed confirm that they rock out like the devil has taken them over. They play amazing rock and roll that would indeed win anyone (including any of the 20 people in the venue) over and did. Glad I finally got to see them live, considering I’ve heard much buzz about them in the last little bit.
After Modernboys Moderngirls kicked out the jams, Language Arts dialled things back a bit. The way I would describe things would be a bit folksy, a bit pop but all rock. Frontwoman Kristen Cudmorerap-sings and classical-guitars her way into everyone’s hearts. The swift-tripping lyrics of the singer are matched with upright bass, drums and keys. Language Arts are beautiful, melodic and really good.
Can I just say one before I launch into this review: Lee’s Palace was a goddamn shit show. I knew before I got in things would be a bit tangly inside. But I can honestly say in all my years of going to festival shows this was the most packed I have ever seen Lee’s. Yes, that is kind of crazy. Well, the lineup was STACKED. But back to Dum Dum Girls. While the beginning of the set started off with a bit of sound trouble, the girls with their steely expressions got the crowd rocking to their jangly mix of 60s girls Brit Pop and loud rock. The set was good, not great. But good. Between the packed venue, sound troubles and what seemed like a more-than-rushed set, it kind of made for a lack oomph that one would come to expect in their normal stage shows. Alas, still happy I caught it.
After finding out that Neon Windbreaker were going to be the “special guest” at Bovine that evening and hearing they had some lineup changes, I made my way over to see how the night was going down. I came in to find a bustling Bovine and a great band from Brooklyn playing. Back to Neon Windbreak, their sludgy half punk / half experimental / half doom-rock with epic raffage, hard-fast rhythms and the wailing of Eric Warner made for an awfully entertaining show. Eric kind of reminded me of a man possessed. I heard mixed reviews from the crowd. It’s the Bovine, what do you expect. However for myself, I know that I personally liked it. Totally reminded me of my old punk days. Thanks guys!
For any dedicated Toronto electronic music fan, making the five hour trip to Detroit for Movement (previously known as the Detroit Electronic Music Festival) is nothing. Yes, Toronto has WEMF (which is being rebooted this year after a hiatus) and Mutek in Montreal. But nothing can compare to Movement in Detroit, the birthplace of techno.
I made the trip out with two of my best friends and instead of staying in Detroit, we booked a hotel in Windsor literally across the river. As we arrived on Saturday, we could hear the music from the hotel lobby. We dropped our bags off, did an LCBO trip and got ready for the day’s events. The wonderful thing about Movement is that the entire festival takes place at Hart Plaza, a gigantic outdoor venue space beside Lake Saint Claire.
Taking the Tunnel Bus across the border (along with 30 other festival fans) and explaining to the Border Guards that you like the “electronic” music can be a little intimidating. But once you arrive at Movement, it is well worth the trip. Everyone from tech-snobs, ravers AND ex-ravers, hipsters, thugs, and music lovers converged into one spot to partake in the festivities for three days. Best part, NO CAMPING!
For me, the stage that was killing it for me was the Red Bull Music Stage. From 2PM onwards, every single DJ that was playing was incredible. We arrived to the infamous Electrobounce and DJ Godfather 3 hour booty bass battle. Yep, you read that correctly, 3 hours of booty house. Normally, this set takes place on Monday – so it was strange to start me weekend off with it. But at the same time, it kinda set the tone for the weekend. It was amazing to see kids juking and wilding out all over the place so early in the day.
The people who go to this festival are dedicated to their costumes. I saw a man dressed up in a full “Blue Man Group” attire and thought he must have been dying of heat. Another wore this black and grey 1998 fun fur jacket whilst blowing bubbles on everyone. He was totally bringing the PLUR. While another person wore a fanny pack with a sticker that read: “I’m Celebrating Date Rape”. WAT?! Charming bunch in Detroit, I tell ya. But on the flip side, a lot of the people I kept meeting were NOT from Detroit. They were from New York, Toronto or Los Angeles.
Next up, we saw Hudson Mohawke who killed it with a rad set of dub step and hip hop. I adored that Hudson was also wearing a Butt Magazine shirt. Way to be, dude. I think a lot of people are still getting on the Hudson Mohawke train, so it didn’t seem like a lot of people were there for his set. But it went hard and heavy, which I liked. I took a short video for you to check out here.
Since we were VIP, we decided to check out the VIP area. Amazing lounge chairs. Tons of Hollywood style trailered bathrooms. Free massages. Free Vitamin Water. Um, this is the way VIPs should be treated. As the weekend went on, we were thankful we had this area to escape to. But more so thankful for the bathrooms. Holy hell!
Next up on the Red Bull Stage was Dam-Funk, this modern funk and soul singer who played with Master Blazter. The performance was great. Got me swaying, but didn’t really have me going nuts. I was kind of expecting a bit more. But none-the-less, it was still great.
What did blow me away was Daedelus. Holy hell, please. Look him up. SO GODDAMN AMAZING. For those who are familiar with his music, it is much more chilled out. But for the festival, he definitely livened it up and made it a bit more dubstep and techy. Couldn’t stop dancing the entire time this man was on. Brilliant. There wasn’t a moment that I didn’t look around and didn’t see people loosing their shit over this guy. So bravo, Daedelus.
I think what happened between Matt Clarke and Goldie coming on stage, was I entered a Tardis (a la Doctor Who) and walked into the big raves of 1998 at the Better Living Centre. Goldie played some dirty ass JUNGLE that made me scream like a little girl again. I didn’t think that was possible. But his hour and a half set made me remember what raving was like back in the day. Don’t believe me, check out this video I got here.
But when Skrillex came to stage, the party didn’t stop. Although what did happen wasn’t really good. People got to pushing, shoving and being straight up angry-bro messes. Skrillex had to stop twice during his set to ask people to calm down because he was informed by security that people were getting injured. During this time, I even lost my friends (one of whom had their jacket and phone stolen). I am all for seeing a really popular artist who is making some amazing music, but people need to chill the fuck out. Seriously. Also, the security didn’t know what to make of the situation. Even when Girl Talk came in 2008, it seemed they had a better handle on the situation. Now that is crazy. Judge for yourself how nuts it was!
So Day 1 was down and even tho I failed to mention it – it rained all the previous day. We were told that a potential TORNADO was coming through Detroit. So me and the ladies went to Zellers (how chic!) to buy rain boots for the day. Gotta be prepared. Because of this, we decided to attend the festival later so that we would be TORNADO READY!
I had also gotten an e-mail letting me know that 35,000 people had attended the festival on Day 1 alone. Pretty impressive considering the weather. But as we arrive, it didn’t look as busy (once again) and that was disappointing considering the stacked lineup: Beardyman, Gaslamp Killer, Com Truise — just to name a few.
We popped in to see Ana Sia first in the Red Bull stage who was throwing down some minimal drum and bass and dubstep. She didn’t seem to be blowing the minds of anyone, but like I said – it seemed that a lot of people were concerned for this apparent tornado. So I began to make friends with a lot of the people in the crowd.
This time we had Fred Flintstone rocking it out, a giraffe, Gumby booty dancing with a barely clothed young girl and Donnie, who looked like a mint chocolate chip.
We also were able to develop what my best friend and I are now calling, the Dubstep Workout Video. I’m sure if you use your imagine, you can only imagine what this is. But trust me folks, we’re going to make millions!
Beardyman was up on stage and he was killing it. There were moments in his set when I had no idea if it was him beat boxing or he was spinning. But I guess, that’s the whole point, right? That man is incredible. So so talented.
Prior to Gaslamp Killer going on, we found out that although was SUPPOSE to get a tornado, it passed through. WOO. So we survived a rain storm/crazy winds and continued on dancing. Gaslamp Killer, well what can I say. I don’t know if he has been to Toronto. But if he hasn’t, can someone please bring him hear. The entire time he was SO into his set just going NUTS. The music was so incredibly varied ranging from jungle, dubstep, hip hop or what he called “REAL L.A. SHIT”. Check this video! One of my fav sets of the weekend, by far.
We were then treated to AUX 88 live, who played some deep tech house. I wasn’t overly impressed by them to be honest. Which is sad, because I was looking forward to them. I’ve been trying to see them live since my oldschool rave days. But something about their performance just didn’t get me. Plus, I think going on right after Gaslamp Killer was probably a bad move on the part of the promoters. It seemed like noone else was feeling it either. Shame for them.
Hello, sunshine! Where have you been all my life? It was so hot and sunny on Monday. We knew we were leaving the next day, so this turned into the “let’s drink all the booze we’ve got and run around the festival day”.
We ended up getting pretty wasted prior to arriving and running around like mad men around so many of the different stages, that I didn’t really pay attention to who was playing or what was going on. All I did was have fun and make friends.
But the dancing was going on strong and me being a dummy decided to wear heels that day and ended up taking them off, cos you know – that’s how I roll.
All I can say is the following: Flying Lotus played the most epic and amazing set to end off the day. Lo-fi and hip hop was the most amazing way to end the weekend. Plus, the sun setting over the Lake. So freakin’ epic in this video!
For anyone who has ever had doubts about attending Movement / DEMF — hopefully this summed up why you should go. It’s a visual and audio feast all around. If you stay in Detroit or Windsor, it doesn’t really matter because you’ll have the MOST FUN EVER!
As we all know Toronto is home to many a “street style” model and budding designers. This is a city that is devoted to style, and FAT celebrates that!
This year’s line up featured a bevy of talented local and international designers. The shows offer them a chance to show off their goods to fashion bloggers/store buyers and the like, vying for an opportunity to be transported to Marc Jacobs status.
Some of my personal favourites were (in no particular order):
ICA Watermelon – madly delicious knitwear. Thick headbands, knit strapless dresses and killer booties.
Lubica (20 questions with her will be up later this week) – perfect for summertime. She uses jersey material because it’s the easiest thing to wear in Jamaica (where she’s based). Think tight, and/or bright and totally hot.
Martin Lim – clothing had great cuts, the hair styles matched the looks perfectly, and the pieces would work well in any transitional season.
Jessica Clayton – the photobloggers sitting beside me kept ooh-ing and ahh-ing over this one, and I’d have to agree. The whole line was absolute perfection. There was not one item I didn’t fall in love with.
Honourable mention: Toxic Vision – although I unfortunately didn’t get to see this show she makes kick-ass one of a kind pieces that I’ve been loving for a very long time. If Juliette Lewis and a member from Iron Maiden had a baby, these clothes would be their love child.
Here are some assorted pictures of the week’s events
Photos by Alla Dudin and Madelaine Robertson
Dayglow is “The World’s Largest Paint Party” and I got to check out one of these sold out events in Philly. When I was first invited I wasn’t too crazy on the idea of getting paint thrown at me but once I heard Diplo was DJing, I booked my flight to Philly right away.
Entering Philly’s Naval Shipyard I noticed it was a sea of white kids wearing white. Paint was flying everywhere and it looked like some kind of battle field. Bodies all over the place covered in not blood but neon coloured paint. Paint was shot from giant canons and hand held water type guns from the stage. Bottles of paint were also sold. I don’t know what kind of high some kids were on but I did witness some kids pouring paint into each other’s mouth.
Diplo was about 50 feet away from the crowd and spinning nothing new from what I remember. A lot of dubstep tunes though, and everyone was dancing from hours on end. I couldn’t stop thinking how cool it would be if Toronto’s own Basementality would throw their own dubstep paint party night.
As a Dayglow virgin, I faced many issues at the event. The biggest problem for me was trying to take pictures at this event without getting paint on my camera. Unfortunately for me, neon green paint was thrown at me and got all over my camera. I took endless trips to the restroom cleaning my camera and washing out paint out of my eye.
Dayglow was a two day event and I didn’t bother to go to the next day’s event. I was so traumatized over the fact I couldn’t get some paint off of my new camera I wanted to stay in and eat phillycheese steaks from Pat’s all day long.
Tips for next year’s Dayglow Virgins:
1) Wear something you won’t ever wear again
2) Leave the professional cameras at home
3) Don’t leave your mouth open