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Virgin Festival 2008, Sunday Evening

15-Sep-2008 04:00 PM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
Silversun Pickups

Toronto Island Park
Photos and Review by: Pete Nema
Virgin Festival 2008, Sunday Evening
Oasis, The Pigeon Detectives
Moby, Stereophonics
Silversun Pickups
September 7, 2008
Full Photo Set (24 photos)

A two day festival, in four parts. This is part four: Sunday Evening.

After the Arkells and a small amount of socializing, I headed back to the main stage. Although I didn't realize it at the time, the rest of the day was going to be more about having a good time than musically invigorating. I was looking forward to The Pigeon Detectives despite not really knowing much about them and I hadn't seen Silversun Pickups since 2007. So there were a few things I wanted to get to, but I wasn't really excited by the main stage headliners, so my plan was just take it easy and let the evening take me where it wanted.

Silversun Pickups

I saw Silversun Pickups in May 2007, and that show ended up being the reason I was at Virgin Festival 2007 because that's where I met Cherise Burda who plays guitar for Noah's Akweld. Anyway, because Silversun Pickups haven't released anything since their 2006 album Carnavas, the band sort of fell off my radar. I remember Brian Aubert (vocals, guitar) taking me back about 15 years with strong reminders of grunge, and even described him as "a happy Kurt Cobain". This time around, the grunge sound is still present, but his actions seemed less accentuated; perhaps that comparison was simply inspired by his hairstyle at the time. And speaking about hair, what I had forgotten was Christopher Guanlao (drums) and his crazy hair-based drumming patterns. Whether you enjoy hearing Lazy Eye for the 100th time or not, you can't not enjoy watching Guanlao's wild arms and hair action. Good show... I wish they'd release something to put themselves back into the fold.

Silversun Pickups  Silversun Pickups  Silversun Pickups

Silversun Pickups  Silversun Pickups  Silversun Pickups

Info: Silversun Pickups | Connect: MySpace, Facebook

Stereophonics

I guess no one told the Stereophonics that the temperature in Canada does actually go above zero, because this band was dressed for December. The guitar player was wearing a nice warm wool coat, done up all the way, and the other two front players were in leather jackets. Alright, I understand that it's an image thing, but by the time they were on stage that day it was sunny and pretty humid, so the coats were extra noticeable. I don't really know their music, although I've now learned that their music gets played in my house occasionally. I can't say I was moved by their performance. My quick assessment is that the Stereophonics make good listening music, but after watching so much high quality live action over the previous 24 hours, their stage show seemed a bit mild in comparison. But, to be fair, I didn't watch the whole set. I see that some Stereophonics albums are available on eMusic.com, so I think I'll test out my theory.

Stereophonics  Stereophonics  Stereophonics

Stereophonics  Stereophonics

Info: Stereophonics | Connect: MySpace, Facebook

Moby

After photographing Stereophonics, I headed backstage where I ran into two of the guys from Paper Lions and a woman named Sarah who works in the industry. We talked for a bit, about acquiring beer, about music, and then again about beer, but there was none to be found. Then we talked about plans for the rest of the day, and Sarah says that she wants to meet Moby. You know when an album has such a big impact on you that it changes your life? Well, for Sarah that was Moby's Play album released in 1999. So I say "Let's go meet Moby". I'm half kidding, but since we have All-Access passes, it seems like a possibility. As we arrive at the Bacardi B-Live tent, we walk through the media entrance and accidentally join up with a group of people who are being led out past the backstage tents to an area near the water. What we had stumbled into was a meet and greet with Moby for some contest winners. A line forms, and I urge Sarah to get in it. A minute later, Sarah meets Moby. (Wait a second... should I be telling you about our mildly bad behaviour? Oh well, too late). After the meeting of the Moby, we hung around at the backstage bar and had mojitos (yes, Bacardi runs a backstage mojito bar) while we waited for Moby to take the stage. Eventually he did and I listened for a bit and snapped a few photos. It's amazing what Bacardi has done because the vibe in that B-Live tent is just so different than the rest of the festival.

Moby  Moby  Moby

Info: Moby | Connect: MySpace, Facebook

The Pigeon Detectives

The headliner band for the second stage was The Pigeon Detectives, another brit-pop band over in Canada for the festival. Although I was unfamiliar with their music, I had heard they had an incredible stage presence. You only need to watch one or two songs to be nearly blinded by the wild manoeuvres of Matt Bowman (vocals) that include spraying water in the air like a whale, shoulder-high jumps, and throwing his microphone way up over the audience and then tugging it back in for the catch. The music is, however, fairly simple and unsurprising brit-pop. I'm not saying it's bad or boring, but that it's just straight ahead and easy to get, like early Kinks. And the crowd seemed to get it, just like that. They screamed, they danced, and they had a great time just bouncing along wildly with the band.

The Pigeon Detectives  The Pigeon Detectives

The Pigeon Detectives  The Pigeon Detectives  The Pigeon Detectives

Info: The Pigeon Detective | Connect: MySpace, Facebook

Oasis

I'm not a fan of Oasis, which seems to put me in the minority here in Toronto. Perhaps the melodies are catchy, but I just never made that emotional connection to the music that everyone else seems to have made. Truth is, I find them a little boring, and that was before I saw them perform. Liam Gallagher (vocals) stands quite firmly in the same pose, surrounded by a horseshoe of monitor speakers, moving only to take breaths or the occasional drink of water. Yes, this is a band that is an easy target to poke fun at, if not for their eccentricities, then due to their history. But the thing is that now I really don't feel like poking fun at them (much), and actually feel regret for those past few sentences. You see, just because I don't really enjoy their music doesn't mean I want to attack them. And as you probably already know, some complete wiener did, possibly attempting to determine if we'd been duped by a couple of mannequins (Doh! More regret). Whatever the motivation, that dude deserves to be charged with 1st degree ruining-it-for-everyone. And that includes me, because now I want to say good things about the Gahllager brothers. Things like: With 25,000 fans in attendance, brothers Liam and Noel Gahllager (guitar) deserve respect for coming back on stage and finishing the show. Damn that asshole who gave me newfound respect for Oasis.

Oasis

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