Rifflandia! Part two

Ongoing coverage of the rifflandia music festival continues!

Friday, September 24th:  The Market Square Show

My dear friend the Shlesbian, being a fan of the Tragically Hip and their lead singer, Gord Downie, really wanted to go to Market Square friday night.  I was hesitant at first, because last year at Rifflandia, I spent the entire Market Square show freezing my butt off and trying my best to not look cold while trying to prevent Kittens from turning into ice. 

But I decided to follow her this year, not so much for Gord Downie and more for Yukon Blonde.  But I prepared myself for the worst this time around, and wore three layers, my hockey toque, and two layers of socks.  I also stuffed my pockets with diabetic life-savers, which actually happen to be lifesavers candy. 

Strangely, when I got to  Market Square, the Shlesbian and Moon Rock were in the exact same spot Kittens and I had been at the year before.  This being Market Square, which is a rather large outdoor venue, this was just a little odd.  I'm going to attribute it to the fact that the Shlesbian and I tend to think alike in many ways, so she would naturally gravitate to that spot. 

The whole show was being filmed and recorded by CBC Radio, so over the weekend, most of the good shows did wind up playing at the Market Square venue.  Even if it was a bit chilly.

The Zolas:  I didn't really catch much from these guys, as I arrived late, and I can't really recall anything about their music.  Their lead singer wore a red jacket that reminded me of Marty McFly from Back to the Future.  I know they played electric rock, and it wasn't bad or anything, but nothing really stuck out in my mind.

Most noteworthy was after their show.  The Shlesbian, Moon Rock and I were directly above the area where fans could purchase albums directly from the band, and maybe even talk to the musicians.  And we watched as one very persistant young lady kept talking to the lead singer.  And then we watched as the lead singer and this young lady disappeared.  And then we watched as they came back about an hour later, and did their best not to make eye contact with one another.

 I actually got to ask Marty McFly lookalike about this saturday night, when I saw him in between sets at Sugar Nightclub.  I told him he did a great show and then jokingly asked what happened with that brunette chick he walked off with after his set.  He blushed, thanked me for my compliment, and didn't answer my question - and then we talked about guitars. 

The Zolas:  Okay... everytime I look at this
picture, I keep expecting him to start playing
"Johnny B. Goode" while Doc Brown looks on,

Maurice:  This is where Rifflandia really started getting good.  Maurice was this really energetic band that had a great rhythm section, and you could see when they were up on that stage that they were having the time of their lives.  The music was energetic, and everyone in the crowd was really getting into it.

I got this vibe that the band was really young and this was their first show, because their energy level really felt like that, but apparently they've been around for a while, and their album was actually, in fact, signed by the super famous and respected musician David Foster.

At one point, the bassist climbed up their tower of amps, gave the V for Victory to the fans, and leaped down to the stage... breaking his ankle in the process.  He kept on playing for the remainder of the song, and then limped off stage.

We saw him leave Market Square in an aircast, being carried by his band members. 

Now that's fucking rock and roll. 

Yukon Blonde:  Energetic rock music that just blew my socks off.  They play these songs that are just so infectious that they get burned into your head like some sort of awesome audio disease. 

Moon Rock didn't seem like he was going to be that into them when I gave the brief description, but by the end of the show, he was grinning almost as much as everyone else - and I count that as a victory.

I knew these guys were going to be good, and I did not leave disappointed.  'Nuff said.

Jets Overhead:  As the Shlesbian and I watched these guys set up, I kept thinking to myself "hm, they look kind of familiar....".  They got up on the stage, and I couldn't help the feeling that I'd seen them before.

When they started playing, I realized I had seen them before.  Last year.  In the same music festival.  In the same venue.  In fact, the last time I had seen them, I'd been freezing my nuts off, wondering if I was going to make it through the night.  This time around, I could focus on their music.

Hate to say it, but were it not for this blog post, I imagine that next year at Rifflandia, I wouldn't remember these guys.  They just don't stick out in my head - except for the songs where their female keyboardist sings.  Those songs just have a better all around sound.  Actually, if she had a solo project, I'd probably be pretty interested in hearing the results - I love the sound of her voice. 

Not to say that this is a bad band - just that they're not really my cup of tea, and the music doesn't really have a whole lot of groove or energy to them.  They start the same way they end, which is a musical sin in my book.

Gord Downie & The Country of Miracles:  If you're canadian, you know who Gord Downie is already - he's the lead singer of the quintessential canadian band, The Tragically Hip.  If you're in your twenties, like myself, you've been listening to "the Hip" for most of your life.

This music?  Not so much.  He started the set off with free verse poetry that made little sense.  His bassist was a woman of indeterminate age who had a cast on her leg and hopped all over the stage, which was kind of funny.  Also funny was the drummer's ridiculous hat.  Plus, the band had a theremin, which is the height of awesome - the Shlesbian can attest to the fact, as I spent the entire length of time the band was setting up going on (and on) about just how awesome an instrument the theremin is. 

All of this random, weird stuff, should have been a precursor to an awesome show.  In my humble opinion... it wasn't. 

I watched them play about three songs, realized the lifesavers candy I'd been chewing all night was no longer doing anything for me, and had to go home to get more sugar into me lest I fall over and go into embarrassing seizures. 

Apparently, it was a fairly bland show, except for the part where the band's power went out halfway through a song.  And, as everyone knows, the theremin cannot be played without electricity.  And that's no fun.

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