Edgefest 2008 Recap

edgefest 2008Yesterday I attended my first Edgefest since 2003. I explain my five year absence in this entry. I'm happy to report it was as much fun as I remember it. It was a 12 hour blast.

Before I delve into the details, here's a photoset of pictures I took. Yes, I snapped some sweet pics of the new Batmobile in addition to every band I saw. I even took a little video of Linkin Park rocking out with "A Place for My Head" Now, on with the recap...

Before

Getting there was pretty slick. At Downsview station an Express bus was waiting for us and it dropped us off right in front of the gate. There was virtually no lineup at 12:45. I brought in a 1.5 litre bottle of water, three bagel sandwiches, some orange juice, a rain poncho, my digital camera and Blackberry. Security gave me no hassles whatsoever.

The first band I wanted to see was USS, but we had a little time before they hit the stage. That meant checking out the new Batmobile and free samples of some chocolate milkshake a small army of attractive young nurses were promoting. I doubt they were certified nurses, but I didn't bother asking to see their credentials.

USS - Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker

I had heard two USS tracks on the radio and I loved them both. You really can't miss "Hollowpoint Sniper Hyperbole" on the radio, it's been on super high rotation for a while now, and for good reason. It's a great track.

For a 1:30 band, USS were great. It was a fun set that showed a great deal of promise. I'm a sucker for rock bands who utilize a turntable. This goes back to my impressionable years in the late 80s when I was digging the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy and learning that a dj could be a band. Terminator X spoke with his hands, and USS kept the tradition alive while maintaining the necessary hooks and melody. These guys have a bright future.

Attack in Black

I try to like these guys, but it's not happening. Something is missing... my ears hear Simple Plan... it's as if they're missing a certain rawness, or dare I say, edge? Their big radio hit, "Young Leaves", was left on the SLS cutting room floor. They're just not my cup of team.

Creature

After Attack in Black, it was lunch time, so we crashed to chow down by the small stage. Creature, a band I had never heard of, featured two female vocalists and a funky Blondie-like sound from the late 70s and early 80s. It was funky fun with plenty of cowbell.

Ashes Divide

Ashes Divide sound like Joy Division, The Cure, The Smiths, Depeche Mode and those bands from the 80s. Like Attack in Black, they didn't grab me. They weren't my cup of tea, either.

The Bravery

The Bravery delivered a fantastic set as the sky opened up and I threw on my rain poncho. For most of this set it rained hard and that just seemed to add to the ambiance. I'd say these guys are going to be big, but they've already got the buzz, and they deserve it. I still think "Believe" sounds too much like "Plateau", but that's okay.

Sam Roberts

After The Bravery I joined the lines for the port-o-potty and quickly realized there weren't enough port-o-pottys supplied to meet the demand. I waited in line for over half an hour and missed Sam's first song. He delivered a typical Sam Roberts set which I happen to like, but he does like the lengthy jam songs. That's fine when you're headlining and have 2+ hours, but Sammy was on the clock.

Stone Temple Pilots

Without STP on the bill, I wouldn't have bought a ticket. Core was (and is) one of my favourite albums, and I spun the crap out of Purple, so seeing Scott for a third time sounded awfully appealing. My sked said STP was to hit the stage at 6:55. By 7:30, there was still no sign of them. There was also no 102.1 personality on the stage to introduce the band or explain the delay or reassure us they were coming up soon. Thank goodness I had my Blackberry to visit Scott Weiland's Wikipedia page to ensure he wasn't locked up or deceased.

Once they took the stage, I thought they started off a little shakier than usual, but as the set progressed Scott found his voice. They played just about every single they'd ever released and gave us a full show despite hitting the stage almost an hour late. For "Plush", Scott walked right by us and performed next to the light stand. They closed with "Dead and Bloated". It was a great show.

Linkin Park

I have every Linkin Park album in my collection and I nominate just about every single they release for SLS consideration, but I never really considered myself a big Linkin Park fan. I've always felt a little guilty about enjoying their rock/rap hybrid, but damn they're good live. They started with a soft touch, about three stripped down songs before they started to kick out the jams, but then they never let up. Like STP, it was hit after hit after hit. You have to see these guys live to appreciate how many hits they have in their catalogue.

After

After Linkin Park, my feet were aching, but we had a pretty lengthy walk ahead of us. We decided it would be better to haul our asses to Downsview station rather then wait for one of the Express buses. I can't tell you how good it felt to finally sit down at Downsview station.

It was a full day of great live music. Sure, about 90% of the crowd was under the age of 25, but there were plenty of dudes my age and older enjoying the day. Age truly is a matter of mind. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

STP Linkin Park The Bravery Early On


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Comments (14 - click here to join in!)

CutZ

Nice review. I was there too. No mention of the mud pit?

July 13, 2008 @ 12:22 PM

Toronto Mike

Ah yes, the mud pit.

The field was divided into two parts by this wall that acted as a lane way to the lighting booth - this lane way protected the many cables that ran from the stand to the stage.

I learnt long ago to situate myself on the side of the stage opposite the beer tent or beer garden. This is my Hip trick b/c the drunkards flow out of the beer tent for the main act and they act like asshats. If you're on the other side, you don't have the show ruined by the frat boys.

Yesterday, we parked ourselves on the right side of the field b/c the beer garden was on the left. The mud pit was also on the left, and although we weren't part of the mudslide and mud wrestling, we were dodging flying mud during STP.

July 13, 2008 @ 1:44 PM

Jill

Great recap. Would have loved to hear and see Sam Roberts. I almost felt like I was there. Your wikipedia search of Scott Weiland had me cracking up. From your photos he actually looked healthy. That Batmobile is wicked. Saw it last week at the Eaton Centre then had to go home and watch Batman Begins.

July 13, 2008 @ 2:09 PM

dev

hey, just stumbled across your blog and wondering if yo are going to rogers picnic next week?

July 14, 2008 @ 11:16 AM

Jason | GetYourOJ.com

The most amusing thing i have read all year

http://www.chartattack.com/DAMN/2008/07/1401.cfm

"I bet you're thinking, "If food is the first thing this guy mentions, he can't have much to say about the bands." Well, I don't. A couple of great bands mixed in with a dozen mediocre ones isn't my idea of a day well spent — especially when it consists mostly of hiding from several spots of rain and (unsuccessfully) dodging fistfuls of mud hurled at you by the mouth breathers reliving Woodstock '94 a few metres away. So, the food was great. The rest of the show, not so much."

July 15, 2008 @ 10:27 AM

Toronto Mike

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Even Ben Rayner in the Star seemed to enjoy the day.

I had a blast.

July 15, 2008 @ 2:11 PM

Chris

I don't know what concert you went to but it certainly wasn't a good one.

90 bucks for this wasn't worth it. Organization was a nightmare, sure security didn't give you any hassles but navigating the food/beer tents was a disaster.

And you're little genius plan about staying away from the beer tents means that you get a perception that 90% of the crowd was under 25. From where I was standing I saw maybe 1 or 2 people under the age of 25. With STP playing the crowd was definitely older and they really should have expected that and planned for a larger beer tent area.

You get drunkards and asshats when the lineup for the garden is so long and takes 3 hours to get to that no one wants to leave until the headliner when they are all drunk. Personally I would have just rather enjoyed a few pints during the show or during a band I cared less for.

I was glad I left after STP I managed to get home fast and I salvaged a decent night out with friends instead of that disaster that was edgefest. This edgefest makes me miss Molson Park that much more.

July 15, 2008 @ 2:23 PM

Anonymous

http://www.chartattack.com/DAMN/2008/07/1401.cfm
Well those ppl obviously don't know how to write a review.
Edgefest was the best thing I've ever been to. STP, Linkin Park, The Bravery, Ashes Divide. If there were anymore really good bands, the tickets would be too much.
People just don't give respect the same way they used to. Hasn't anyone heard the saying, 'if you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing at all' it would be way better hearing good reviewss then hearing everyone's 2 cents worth, that actually amount to nothing.
why would people go to Edgefest if they don't like the bands, wtf is wrong with people? Honestly, why would you go spend money on a ticket when the bands there you don't even like. If you're only going for one band, then just review on the one band, other then that, keep your fucking mouth shut. This is really getting annoying.
and chris, if you're going there just to drink, you're a fucking idiot. Drink at home, it saves you money in the long run. and the food was actually set up good, how else do you expect it to be set up, in the middle of the field. God dumbass people don't think anymore. Everyone's too picky.
All I can say, well done Edge, you put on an awesome show, and don't listen to what all those flamming homo's say about hom much they hated, they don't know how to have fun even if it came and slapped them in the face.
I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys put together for next year.

July 15, 2008 @ 7:47 PM

Melanie

I'm considering taking my 12-year old daughter to Edgefest 2009, as she wants to see her favourite bands: Billy Talent and AFI. AFI is playing third-last, and Billy Talent last. Therefore, it will be late and people might get crazy. Do you think it's appropriate for me to take my daughter? Please reply soon.

Melanie

June 18, 2009 @ 6:52 PM

Toronto Mike

I wouldn't hesitate to take my 12 year old if he/she liked the bands.

June 18, 2009 @ 8:56 PM

Melanie

I want to take her so badly... I know how much AFI and Billy Talent means to her. But is it appropriate?

Melanie

June 19, 2009 @ 1:35 PM

Cloudy

If Nine Inch Nails and JAne's Addiction aare appropriate for a 12-year-old, then for God's sake AFI and Billy Talent are.

June 19, 2009 @ 1:46 PM

Anonymous

That's not what I meant, Cloudy. The pictures of Edgefest 2008 make me worried... But she'll be so disappointed if she doesn't go... I just don't know what to do!!

June 19, 2009 @ 1:50 PM

Toronto Mike

Just keep the 12 year old away from the front of the stage where she could get hurt and on the left side, away from the beer garden.

It's totally safe.

June 19, 2009 @ 1:55 PM

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