Back from a weekend of live music at the Live at Squamish festival.
I have to say that I’m impressed with the overall production value and effort put into the event. It was very impressive for a launch. They thought of almost everything.From their great design work, iPhone app, to their great and active use of Twitter. Only thing I would suggest is that they add more descriptive information of the bands along with samples.
Most of the music did not match my taste on Saturday but we did rock out to Hollerado on the Serf Stage who played a great set of covers including odd selections such as Surfer Bird and Psychotic Reaction (a long time favorite of mine). Said the Whale also played a good set at the Stawamus Stage.
I was quite surprised as to the amount of dslr’s sported by the people considering the site and gate keepers insisted that no detachable lens cameras were allowed. I had left my Canon T1i behind for that reason but should have brought it as it turned out.
We were quite lucky to have the rain hold out for the whole day even though it did threaten several times. The location was a perfect place for a festival, beautiful and very contained.
I was interested in seeing DEVO but was sadly dissapointed I will have to say. If they kept their masks on it might have worked, but without them the whole act of a couple of 50-60yr old’s trying to play hip punk was not very convincing. And considering the amount of children that were at the festival I was surprised at the lewd videos that accompanied them. Oh well, we left early.
Brought my Canon DSLR and though the gate keepers fussed that I should not take it out of my bag or take it in at all, I got through. It was only today after digging around on their site I found that Canon Rebels were actually fully accepted. Screencap of the comment from their blog below, see point #4. So why all that needless hassle? Everybody needs to be on the same page next year.
I’m happy to say my camera was not taken away and I managed to get some great shots.
Today’s line up of bands was much more interesting. Squamish’s Fogon played an enjoyable set where almost everyone in the band sang a song. Then You Say Party kicked it off to a good start on the Stawamus Stage. Civil Twilight played an earth shaking cover of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song! Later Tokyo Police Club took the stage for a very energetic set.
I must say that several times that day I was surprised to hear vulgar swearing coming from some stages despite the fact that there was kids there and the kids zone was right beside the blasting music. My own vocabulary may not be a shining example but can’t we keep a family festival clean?
But best of all came last, The Decemberists! (for some reason Google is labeling the band’s site as harmful so I linked to their Myspace)
The sound was ok, nothing phenomenal. But the sound may have also suffered
from Bad Religion playing before them, cause
they had really cranked it. Maybe something
They weren’t as tight as some of the other
acts, but I’ve been such a fan for so long that I was thrilled to see them nonetheless. They played my personal fave
‘Engine Driver’ and ‘16 Military Wives’ but sadly did not respond to my
shouts of ‘We Both Go Down Together’. They
also treated us to three new songs from their
upcoming album! Sounds good. I was also able to secure a pick that Colin threw off stage at the end of one of his songs!
After that it was off to Kevin Shiu at the clubZone Stage for some partying and dancing.
Drove home pumped and listening to Arcade Fire. 1.5hrs later when I arrived home I was still pumped. A great night for sure.
Looking forward to next year’s festival! But in capacity as a performer this time round.
Here’s a photo I’ve had sitting around on the hard drive for a few weeks, might as well get it out there. Coming home one night I noticed a lot of bugs swarming around a lamp post. Luckily I had my tripod with me so I set a few long exposure shots. Then overlaying them in Photoshop I got this.
Shot on my Canon T1i.
Crowded House played a solid set last night. I’m so glad to have had a chance to see them live for the first time. They played Private Universe!
Not thrilled that the parking underneath the theater cost $10 for the night, 7pm-12am. Ticketmaster listed it as only $5.50. We could have parked elsewhere but we were running late on time and had our minds on other things. We got suckered proper.
My sad attempt at a photo with my iPhone 3Gs.
I was pretty glad when I found that Groupon opened in Vancouver. I’ve since purchased several deals and have been satisfied with the service. While they may not be the first with the idea, they are currently the best known.
But what I didn’t know is that Groupon is not alone in the ‘group deals’ game in Vancouver. I’ve stumbled upon a few more just by word-of-mouth. And all appear to be pretty identical right down to the wise-cracking descriptions of the daily deal.
- Grooster – I can’t find anything to distinguish it from Groupon. Even the first two letters of it’s name match Groupon.
- LivingSocial – Again almost identical in every way, apart from lacking a full live countdown clock. Also comes with iPhone app.
- GoodNews – A local Vancouver company. Basic clone with one difference, a small portion of your purchase is donated to a good cause.
- ethicalDeal – Intends to set itself apart by being the GREEN deal shopper. Yet to launch. While it will serve cities outside Vancouver as well it appears to be a locally started company.
Groupon and LivingSocial currently have a few things beyond the other. First are their nice mobile apps which you can present to merchants instead of physical print-outs (although you can always pull up your purchase email from the other services). They also have affiliate programs.
Then Groupon has their extra side deal.
I just subscribe to them all and get them in my inbox each morning. Have I missed any?
I’ve always thought LinkedIn was for business people in suits. Guess I was wrong. So due to helpful recommendations I now have my long overdue profile set up.
Swell Season played a fantastic show at the Malkin Bowl in Vancouver’s Stanley Park this past Sunday. Which is more than can be said of Live Nation and it’s venue the Malkin Bowl. Granted in my short three months in Vancouver I had only been to a handful of venues, Malkin Bowl was hands down the worst. Up to now I had enjoyed The Rickshaw, Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver Folk Fest and a handful of clubs in downtown. But entering the Malkin Bowl you don’t get the feeling that the it’s all about the music and the freedom of the audience to enjoy it. First off, the ridiculous list presented at the entrance. While I can understand the restrictions on pets and bulk foods, there is no need to ban video/audio recording devices, or professional cameras. Of course it’s their venue, but we paid good money. Let us enjoy it. I don’t see them recording and selling the show. There was nothing of the like going on at all. And at their discretion, they banned my Canon T1i even tho it is far from a pro camera. We still sat through dozens of people shooting flash on their pocket cameras. It’s no surprise someone properly added the one item they forgot to their list: No Fun.
Second, we are all in chairs, while a handful of people are admitted into an odd enclosure to the side. Even Glen Hansard spoke out about this odd arrangement. He asked, much to the shock of the security, for the audience to leave their seats and come sit close, even on stage.
My other beef was with the fact that even tho this show was clearly marked as ‘all ages’, their opening act Black Francis was nothing of the kind. He was obscenely vulgar. The occasional offhand curse I can tolerate, but with my young siblings in the audience, I was not impressed at all. Live Nation is receiving an email from me about this. There is simply no excuse for this. Black Francis was unprofessional to perform so. How someone of Glen’s quality could look up to him is unfathomable.
Finally found buskers. And I’ve been walking down these streets before. It looks like they come out more for the weekend. I guess it doesn’t pay to play weekdays. But Even now the buskers were few and occupied but a couple of blocks.
While some made decent cash, sadly few people took the chance to toss even the smallest change their way.
Vancouver still needs a diverse selection of buskers. While there are some great acts, the is more mediocre. How many times does one need to hear a Stairway to Heaven/Wish You Were Here medley?
If you are wandering around downtown and hear something good, don’t hesitate to support the busking scene.
One thing that I have noticed about Vancouver since moving here is the lack of street musicians. Yet everyone assures me that they are there, somewhere, sometime. I’ve spent hours walking downtown and Granville isle at different times and days and I have yet to stumble upon them. Vancouver has not proven the artistic environment it advertises itself as.
Doing a quick search online reveals that I’m not the only one asking about this. And some of these posts dating back to 2007. I unfortunately have nothing substantial to add. If anyone out there does, I would appreciate a comment.
I have been musing over the thought of busking myself every since arriving but am a little uneasy in the silence that has greeted me.