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VFest Toronto: Day 2

September 1st, 2009

pharrell-vfest

I guess if you could sum up day 2, it would go down as the day that was too freezing to be August. And also again: where was the crowd? And also also: kind of an improvement over day 1. Wellll, here’s the thing. Move Grizzly Bear and Franz Ferdinand to day 2, and we’ve got ourselves a winner.

Read our thoughts about some of the sets and leer at our photos after the jump!

(PS: Day 1 photos and review here)

[Photos by Alica Kroupa and Wendy Heisler]

day-2-olp-by-alica-kroupa.jpg

Picture 8 of 16

Mew
Alica: Caught the end of this set, but it sounded great. To say the least, I was into it.

The Cold War Kids
Alica: I LOVE YOU. “Hang Me Up To Dry”. “Dreams Old Men Dream”. “Hospital Beds”. “Something Is Not Right With Me”. Could the set get any better?!? Well, maybe with “We Used to Vacation”, but that’s too perfect. I saw the Kids open for Death Cab and now I’ve seen them lead up to NIN – in any occasion, the band just keeps kicking ass!!! Although, definitely better in a smaller venue…. I LOVE YOU NATHAN WILLETT!

MUTEMATH
Alica: Darren King tapes his headphones to his head. If that’s not serious, I don’t know what is. Who knew, New Orleans? MUTEMATH is one of those hidden gems, but not for long. With the band’s energy, charm and crazaaaay skill, they won’t be muted for long. Definitely one of the most entertaining bands to watch all weekend, coming in at a close second behind Franz, but I mean – it’s Franz.
Wendy: These cuties played on a side stage at 2007′s VFest, so I felt all warm in my heart to see them hit the main stage and witness how they’ve grown as performers. Maybe Paul should have a keytar-off with Lights… hmmm…

N*E*R*D
Wendy: YESSSSSSSSSS. I love these cats. It’s too bad that the audience hadn’t quite grown yet, and it’s too bad that Pharrell seemed to be in a cranky mood – but by song 3, the place was going insane. Even NIN fans in the front row were thrashing to “Lap Dance”. As per us’, they brought up some dudes on stage to dance wacky during “Spaz”, and later some ladies to wine self-consciously during “She Wants To Move”. By the end, the place was sweaty and energized, and Pharrell seemed a little happier knowing that he could work even a lackluster Toronto crowd into a frenzy. Note: he is also a superfox.

Our Lady Peace
Alica: If you saw this band perform when you were in high school, you saw it all. Actually, maybe you saw more. NO ONE WANTS TO WATCH YOU HOLD THE MIKE AND STARE AT THE CEILING RAINE MAIDA!
Wendy: OR LOOK DOWN AT YOUR FEET RAINE MAIDA! Although, I must say, there were some pretty hard core fans in the audience. But unlike N*E*R*D, who got the entire crowd on their feet, Raine had to force it by coming out into the stands and threaten intense stare-downs. Pharrell was a tough act to follow, and as much as OLP can be considered Canadian darlings, they were kind of a downer after seeing a mob of drunk boys dance on stage with N*E*R*D.

The Pet Shop Boys
Alica: I like what you did there. The box set was creative, the screen-onics were pretty remarkable, and you Neil Tennant are one of a kind. From box heads, to feathery top hats, the dance routines were hypnotizing, the costumes were colorful and the music was an English electronic dance blast to the past. It’s no wonder you sold 100 million records worldwide boys! Doing their own thing, and YES, there’s nothing bad to say about that.
Wendy: Not gonna lie – I may be an 80s baby but I don’t know much about PSB. However, they had me in a trance – maybe it’s Neil’s voice or the colourful boxes they wore on their heads in the beginning… maybe it was the technicolour dancers or it coulda just been the steady beats. But they’ve still got it, AND they definitely know how to put on a spectacle, AND they closed with “West End Girls”. Dope.

Nine Inch Nails
Alica: LAST CANADIAN SHOW. And you are definitely going to be missed. Huge turn-out, huge energy, huge stage set, huge performance! It’s not every night you see Trent Reznor smash a guitar on a keyboard… but that may just be because you don’t see NIN perform every night. The band definitely gave their fans the bang for their buck (no pun intended) and they stole the show… and forced us to re-ask ourselves … WHY DID BEN HARPER GET TO HEADLINE????
Wendy: Cot dang. There’s something that makes your heart pound when you see a show that is so meticulously planned and carried out – from lights, to setlist choice, to sound quality. NIN have this sh*t on lock down. Intense. And finally, the place filled up! If anything could bring out the masses, it would be the lingering knowledge of Trent’s last show in Canada. Thanks for the powerful send-off.

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