Day number two did not start off as planned. We hustled down to Tribeca to catch Hue. We were on time; the venue not so much.
Turns out the festival thought there was a house sound tech, and the venue thought HPX was providing one. The result was a messy situation which put things about 40 mins behind.
But Hue dealt with it like champions, keeping calm and troubleshooting with the emergency tech till it all worked. There was a tenuous moment as they started the set where nobody knew if the sound would hold up: a slow build up… and then, BOOM! An explosion of indie-pop awesomeness erupted! The crowd was as happy to hear the music as the band was to play it. Meghan will be doing the full review of the band’s set, but I feel it’s a key component to my night’s experience.
Then it was time for Deadhorse! All the way from Calgary, Deadhorse are a band that Canada needs to take note of. It’s a touch difficult to describe their sound, as it combines country, blues, indie rock, garage, stoner rock, and who knows what else into a stew to come out with their brand of tongue-somewhat-in-cheek Calgary swamp rock.
Toronto readers of TWM, think of the Schomberg Fair if they were a five-piece with keys, and absolutely no restrictions on extended jams and stoner breakdowns. The Tribeca did them no favors. The sound was outrageously loud and the stage so crammed they barely fit. None of that mattered though, as Deadhorse put on what might end up being my favorite showcase of the entire festival. The band is hard at work on a new album and let me tell you, I think that album will be an absolute beast.
After half a set of Wildlife — who are on fire right now — our ears needed a break, so we went to the Seahorse feeling content and proud to have watched the little show that could achieve such success.
Early on the Seahorse decision felt questionable. We witnessed Sex With Strangers, who were like an electro hair-metal hipster dance party fronted by the Halifax clone of Jack Black. Wasn’t my thing, though they did cover Hall & Oates.
Then it was Jenocide, a Halifax electro-thrash pop performer equipped with DJ James Reid. Jenocide has been having success, but to me it all felt a bit too hip. She played with energy, even mounting our table and dancing on it for the encore. But when I tweeted out that the music was too hip for me, she found it and had to comment back. That was very borderline negative criticism and she didn’t take it well. Wonder how she’ll like this review?
Next we saw We Were Lovers, who were an amazing palate cleanser: a band playing live instrumentation and relying on strong songs instead of siren blasts and slick dance moves. After having seen We Were Lovers play to a modest but electric crowd last week at Rancho, it felt great to see them play to a capacity-filled Seahorse. And man oh man, did they rise to the occassion. The critics will be talking about Bonjay — in part because that’s all they caught — but We Were Lovers brought it every bit as hard. What a way to end our second night.
Thanks for reading!