LIVE at Squamish: Day 2
Live at Squamish: Day 2
After a long and lovely first day, most people couldn’t wait to come back for more. I spent the night of the 20th exploring Squamish’s night life, and then sat at the Howe Sound Brew Pub and chat the evening away with other festival goers and Squamish locals.
The next morning was spent blogging, drinking coffee, shopping – and it was nice and overcast compared to the blistering previous day. All in all, I think Squamish has many merits aside from this festival. Anyways… here is my breakdown of the day in terms of music:
Brasstronaut – I wandered through the thin crowd at the main stage while Brasstronaut played their set. Not that they weren’t great – they were – but 3:00PM seems a lot earlier than normal on day 2 of a music festival. The mood seemed very hungover, but at least Brasstronaut’s great sound was able to get a few people up and dancing.
The Belle Game – I had seen TBG once before and wasn’t convinced that I liked them, but this show definitely changed my mind. The large band, including Andrew Lee on trumpet, attracted a small but excited crowd of local music lovers. The band seemed very well rehearsed and put together, with an extra drum on stage fora couple of instrumental breaks in their set that got the crowd really dancing.
The Zolas – This band, just like Brasstroonaut, seemed like the perfect background music for the day. Just good, accessible music with a solid beat and a few over-excited dancers in the crowd.
Shane Koyczan – This guy is unreal. I have seen him once before in the spring, but most people recognize him because of his part in the 2010 winter Olympics. Although it seems unfitting to have a poet at a rock music festival, Shane really knocked everyone off their feet. I heard Spencer from Said the Whale / Panda Watch mention that he never wanted to write lyrics again after hearing Shane, because he had stolen all of the beautiful and emotional words from everyone’s mouths. If you can endure the passionate speeches of love, broken hearts, didactic messages, or just humour, then you should definitely try to catch Shane’s moving performances.
Panda Watch – This band either was just another unknown indie band with a weird name to some, but to others who paid close attention to their Twitter feeds, it was a Said the Whale ruse waiting to be exposed. The band walked up in panda masks, started their set instrumentally, then whipped them off to show the faces of Said the Whale! They played a set of entirely new music, which sounded great and created a huge response from the crowd. This was one of my favourite sets, and probably the most memorable of the entire festival. I sheepishly came up to the band afterwards and asked them to sign my notes for the festival, which they were happy to do.
The Dudes – This was the third band in a row that I saw on the main stage that really just played chill rock music. Having just flown in from their hometown of Calgary, the Dudes were a little more interactive up on the stage, and did shotgun a few beers for the audience, but again it was just great background music to which my friends and I played cards on our picnic blanket and swayed a little bit.
Black Mountain – Even though this band is much heavier than the other acts of the festival, I really enjoy them. There is sort of a retro-rock feel, and the heavy guitar and bass did sound very epic given the surrounding mountains and the Chief. They were certainly the loudest act so far in the day, but I think the crowd responded really positively.
METRIC – Metric definitely put on an amazing show. Pretty much the entire attendance of the festival was piled around the stage as Emily hopped, skipped, and sang her way across it. Everyone was up and dancing and singing along, and all of her hits were played. She even got a little emotional as she thanked the crowd for making the event such a success. Metric’s style of simple bass lines and loud, repetitive verses basically gave everyone a chance to join in, and they describe themselves as “Harmonic Rock” on their website, which describes their set perfectly.
Weezer – It seems to me like the main reason why Weezer still plays music is to reminisce about their “glory days”. The entire feel of the crowd changed from happy and enjoyable during Metric’s set to a lot of yelling and chaos. A bunch of older crowd members appeared seemingly out of nowhere, which was a bit funny when Weezer covered Foster the People’s Pumped Up Kicks, a song that few of them could sing along to. I would recommend skipping out on a Weezer concert if you don’t enjoy getting mooned by several guys, or watching leader singer Rivers Cuomo be carried back to the stage by security and a large man in a cowboy hat after wandering through the crowd.
Green Couch Sessions – For the fans who were ultra dedicated to local music, GCS had a small acoustic stage where bands could come play 4 song sets. I did manage to see quite a few including Redgy Blackout, Rococode, and The Boom Booms feat. Ponderosas.
EDITOR’S NOTE AND DISCLOSURE: Jessica covered Live At Squamish 2011 with media accreditation for Hummingbird604.com. This review of the festival is neither paid for nor expected by the organizers, but I believe it’s important to share coverage of the festival as it looks like it was a great event. I retain editorial control at all times of what is published on my site.