The sky, although overcast at first, was still bright and promising. As you trudged your way over a grassy hill, your nose was filled with the scent of festival food and your ears were aroused by the sweet (and sometimes sort of scratchy) melodies of sound check. You’ve made it to Edgefest 2013.
The gates to Downsview Park in Toronto, Ontario opened at 11 AM and festival attendees filed their way in excitedly. Clouds dissipated and the sun made its way through, bringing a comfortable heat and more and more people along with it. It’s not uncommon for crowds to be smaller earlier on at festivals, but as the day wore on, quite an audience had been formed.
Edgefest had two stages. The main stage, and the Jaegermeister side stage.
While the side stage may have been smaller, it still showcased some amazingly talented bands that drew in great crowds. The top side stage stand-out had to have been the dancey indie pop duo Capital Cities. Pulling in a crowd that rivalled the one forming for the main stage, they were the last to perform and boy, did they ever put on a show. The set included their single, “Safe and Sound”, along with a grooving cover of the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive”. Loud, upbeat, and catchy, their songs had everyone in a trance-like dance-type state, and it was fantastic.
Another side stage stand-out was Seattle’s own Hey Marseilles. Due to some border-delays, their set was cut short to about 4 songs… but man, they made those 4 songs count. With tunes incorporating instruments like the accordion, mandolin, cello and viola, Hey Marseilles certainly brought something fresh to the table – something for music-lovers everywhere to enjoy. Check out Eastscene’s interview with them here.
Opening up on the side stage was Lucius. Because they performed much earlier in the day, crowds of people were still filing in – but it was tough to walk past the alluring sounds of their impeccable harmonies. Vocalists Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig wore matching black and white dresses, mod-styled sunglasses, and bright red lipstick. Their appearances were as in-sync as their performance! The audience was held spellbound the entire time, especially during the track “Go Home“, which was just as beautiful live as recorded on their self-titled EP.
The first band to perform on the main stage was July Talk. If you didn’t listen to them after reading the Edgefest preview, then it is highly recommended that you do after reading this. The band performs so well together, and lead vocalists Leah Fay and Peter Dreimanis put on a fun show for everyone. Leah Fay sported an old-school wedding gown and hard hat, and Peter moved nonstop, basically casting a spell on everyone in the crowd and making them dance – if they weren’t already. This, plus their excellently entertaining set of songs, was a fool-proof plan to ensure an amazing time.
Band of Horses performed second-to-last on the main stage and they were certainly worth the wait. At this point in the day, the side stage sets were done and the looming clouds finally released their last bit of rain onto Edgefest. While this didn’t make for a totally comfortable experience, many bravely remained in the crowd as Band of Horses played a marvellous set. The rain almost seemed fitting at some points – some tracks were so haunting and mesmerizing, you couldn’t help but close your eyes, feel the rain hit your face, and let the music just take over.
Whether you were looking to dance with Capital Cities, crowd surf to Monster Truck, or sing along to some of Lucius‘ killer harmonies, Edgefest delivered despite the rain. Audience members left the event soaked, but also stoked after a day full of good vibes, great performances, and most importantly, awesome music.