I'm at westfest this weekend. Good times! Here's some photographic highlights from yesterday.
Unlike most festivals, westfest allows (even encourages!) people to bring their dogs. My sister amuses herself by playing spot the puppies in the crowd. It's amazing how they're all well behaved! Frankly, I thought ARCTIC and "The Latest Artists" left some to be desired, so the dogs gave us something to distract us from some of the horrible songs wafting from the stage. "The Latest Artists" had a song early on that sounded like a headache, filled with screaming something that was waaaaay too loud. Even earplugs weren't enough; my sister and I were debating finding places badmouthing their CDs anywhere they might be sold, just out of spite. It was that bad. Thankfully, their later stuff was more pleasant.
I wanted Jenn Grant's set to be awesome, because seriously, bass clarinet! But sadly, although I felt like they had all the talent they needed, something just didn't come together for me in that show. However, the songs she mentioned were new were among the best, so I have hope for the future!
One of the odd features of Westfest is that they do performance art as entracte
. Yesterday's was the best yet: they brought out balloons attached to wrapped packages, and we played "pass the package" while the music went, and when it stopped, you tried frantically to open the package (which was many-layered). Once the packages were opened, they revealed collections of
glow-sticks which everyone passed out to their neighbours. Thanks to Cara Tierney, the artist who put this together. It was pretty neat seeing the glowing crowd!
Danny Michel was the headliner for Friday. And although he did have to compete with some pretty awesome performance art, he was more than up to the task. No disappointments here! I'm used to seeing him as a solo show (the man does an amazing job of transcending the "guy with a guitar" with the help of a loopback device, although it's subtle enough that you might not notice at first). So it was a big treat to see him with the new, big, band. It seemed like it was quite the treat for him too, and they did some goofing off on stage, playing his old songs a bit faster, and generally having a good time. And the music was as lovely as always. I was impressed at how much crowd there was given that he was competing with game 7 of the Stanley Cup, but although I did see a few younger guys ducking out of the crowd, most people seemed pretty spellbound. I hope he'll do more with the band in the future!
So I'm back at westfest today and probably tomorrow. If you're there too, keep an eye out for me!