Day 2. Friday night on Lebreton Flats.
Camera Obscura: Holy crap – is this band good! Admittedly, I only caught 3 songs of this set to open the night – but they were all amazing – pitch perfect and surprisingly soulful for a band this cool.
Frank Turner: If, for some crazy reason, I was given the task of booking one band to play a festival. One band who, regardless of stage, regardless of crowd, regardless of weather, regardless of any other factors – would have the whole crowd dancing and singing, I’d probably book Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls.
Why? Because Frank Turner gives absolutely everything he’s got into that show. Talented? Great songs? Absolutely… but the thing that sets Frank Turner apart from everyone else with a great song and a guitar is the absolute conviction the audience has in what he’s doing and how passionately he’s doing it. And his band too.
Dawes: Another band I knew squat about going into tonight’s show… and another incredibly talented bunch of dudes playing indie folk. Some soulful tracks, some country tracks, some great solos.
Flogging Molly: I’ve said many times that my favourite part of this festival is seeing what happens when musical worlds collide. In a night where the headliner is among the most polished pop-country acts on the road, it was awesome to hear/see tons of love from Zac Brown fans for the L.A. celtic punk band. Like Frank Turner, also very little doubt that Flogging Molly was giving us every last drop of energy they had.
She & Him: I am hesitant to say that this show sucked. That’s not a fair assessment. But, consider that She & Him were performing on the same night as Frank Turner, Flogging Molly, Zac Brown Band, and Camera Obscura – all of whom have been touring tirelessly for years. After seeing these pros give all they had, this show didn’t do it for me.
The Zac Brown Band: It really bugs me when I hear people say, “I don’t like country music.” All that really says is, “I haven’t listened to enough country music to find what I like.” Give it a try, people!
Now, that being said, The Zac Brown Band isn’t my favourite country artist. But, if Zac Brown Band is your favourite – or even in your top 10 – I would imagine that this was an incredible show. The musicianship was absolutely perfect. They even played a cover of ‘Enter Sandman’ that had no touch of Country Music whatsoever in it. A bit weird, but the crowd ate it up.
Moment of the night: The rain stops, the crews rip the plastic off of the stage, and Frank Turner rips into his first song as the sun comes out.
Party Factor: If you were there for Zac Brown Band fan, 10. Others, probably a 6.