Yeah, I posted the song. Happy? Now that that cliche’s out of the way, let’s move on.
Just got in from Bobcaygeon, where they hosted the Big Music Fest in the middle of a farmer’s field yesterday. Short bill; just Miss Emily, Sam Roberts, The Trews ,and The Tragically Hip, but everyone played long sets to make up for it.
Quick reviews: The Trews are professionals in every sense of the word. They sounded so true to their studio recordings it was almost bizarre. Every time I see them, that’s the thing I’m left with more than anything else: they really are one of the most well-rehearsed bands one can see these days. Sam Roberts were excellent, but of course, the true standouts of the night were The Hip. Incredible live act; definitely a band where almost every time they lit into a new song, a member of the crowd right around me went, “This is my FAVORITE! SONG! EVER!”
Seriously. Every song was someone’s FAVORITE! SONG! EVER! Canadian music fans watching Canadian bands in a field at the south end of cottage country. The only thing that could make this event more Maple-Leaf-y would be if it was on Canada Day.
The one complaint I’ve got is that the farmer’s field outside of Bobcaygeon just felt woefully unprepared for the 24,000 (rough estimate) people attending yesterday. Huge lineups, a lot of confusion about parking, shuttles and routes into and out of the town created a frustrated, tense atmosphere for most of the afternoon. The lineup to get into the beer garden stretched for 2.5 hours; long lines are often a part of festival shows, but standing in mud for that long, sometimes standing still for 20, 30 minutes at a stretch, almost got dangerous. People were heckling those in the line from inside the tent, and security did nothing to stop anyone from cutting in line and rushing the entrance to bypass the rest of us law-abiding schmoes.
It really might not seem like a big deal, but little organizational tics like the 30 people serving drinks to the 24,000 (still, a rough estimate) fans, the gouging concession prices and the 15-minute hike through the woods to and from the car make this festival one that feels thrown-together, disorganized and unprofessional–as though it was put together by the Not-Ready-For-Primetime-Players of event planning. The Hip were amazing, but I think the rest of this concert could be improved upon.
That being said, on the way out of the venue, walking through the fields with a group of other exhausted music fans, there were more fireflies than I’ve ever seen before, just flying and blinking and it was just beautiful; for all the little issues I’ve got with the concert, I think the site is just perfect for a show like that. Canadiana, baby.