Another great Wavelength Music Festival came and went this past weekend, showcasing some of Canada’s most promising up-and-coming talent. If you didn’t make it out to all three nights, let us get you caught up.
Night One – Sneaky Dee’s
Taking place in one of Toronto’s most beloved venues (for nachos and otherwise), Sneaky Dee’s, Wavelength Music Festival got off to a strong start with a night of high energy and sweaty fun. The “Past” section of the weekend’s “Past, Present Future” theme, started off with a number of great tribute acts and ended with the legacies, Art Bergmann and controller.controller.
As people started to pour into the sold out show, More or Les, a local rapper with incredibly ecstatic fans, blasted through a number of Hip-Hop classics with covers of Saukrates and Kardinal Offishall. For his final track he brought on his “rap-karaoke” crew to cover “Northern Touch” with a member of the Rascalz’s Thrust.
More or Les
Following More or Les, Laura Barrett and the Lockbox made their way through a set of complex Owen Pallett tracks. Though some of the keyboard arrangements were no walk in the park, Laura and the band stayed positive and had the crowd amped for more. Up next, local Nirvana cover-band cleverly named Hervana changed things up and covered local legends, Constantines. Well thought out and beautifully arranged, Hervana captured the attention of everyone in the room. Electro-rock duo Delta Will followed with covers of Caribou. Probably the most ambitious act of the night, Most People, converted Broken Social Scene’s large ensemble tracks such as “Lover’s Spit” and “7/4 Shoreline” into a trio format.
Next up was Art Bergmann who hasn’t been on the scene for quite a while, but the 62-year old Canadian punk legend definitely hasn’t lost his spark. Though most of the Gen-X crowd were too young to know Bergmann’s critical acclaim and longstanding career, his diehard fans were no doubt there to support him. Bergmann cared little to impress anyone, swearing at the audience, prompting them to insult him. After a nearly hour and a half set, some of the crowd’s attention wore pretty thin, but Bergmann’s impressive stamina kept the show flowing until the end of his set.
Though last call was soon approaching, headliners controller.controller were ready to kick up the party again. Full of vigor, the five-piece seemed unfazed that this was their first show since 2007. It was hard not to get up and move to their infectious dance-punk grooves.
Night Two – Polish Combatants Hall
The reunion show by Ottawa’s The Acorn was a major highlight of night two. Despite the band’s absence over the past five or so years, they nonchalantly walked in with all brand new material to perform. It was an impressive performance that both new and old fans could enjoy.
If you’ve ever seen Lowell perform live, you’d know that her performance is heavily carried by her confidence and unreserved personality. This night was no exception. Bouncing in the room covered in a string of white lights, Lowell started with the stimulating track “Cloud 69”. Accompanied by Wavelength’s house projections by General Chaos Visuals, the dreamy electro-pop brought the audience to another dimension. Unfortunately this was short lived due to a power outage which stopped both her laptop and mic from working. Grabbing a megaphone, Lowell didn’t miss a beat to keep the audience’s attention until the power came back on. While technical problems continued throughout the show, Lowell’s skill as a performer kept the show going and the audience bobbing along.
Night three – The Garrison
The final night of Wavelength at the Garrison featured “future” bands. One standout was the fast-paced New Fries. They kept the audience on their toes with their scratchy sounding indie-garage rock. Bonus: during their final track, a man emerged from behind the curtains dressed as Jesus.
After Wavelength co-founder Jonny Dovercourt made an announcement to the audience reminding them to stay in the now (and to get off our phones and cameras), Fresh Snow took the stage. A multi-talented jam rock band with diverse musicians, Fresh Snow mixes up elements of electronic rock, experimental electronic, and noise rock. With no lyricist, they covered Billy Idol’s “Mony Mony” with a powerful mix of heavy drums, punching bass and wailing guitars. It was loud, melodic and highly entertaining.
Just as it felt like Wavelength was beginning, it started to come to a close. Mozart’s Sister took the stage and took the audience by utter surprise. Caila Thompson-Hannant, who goes under the pseudonym Mozart’s Sister, can pack a punch. With a powerful, belting voice, Mozart’s Sister hit all the cues of her sampler and pad with ease. She had the crowd cheering, dancing and singing — a great end to a great weekend.
(Main Photo by: Neil Van, Tiana Feng, and Paper Bag Records)