I just spent 9 hours on my feet in the mud bowl better known as Downsview Park taking in Edgefest 2009. It was a whole lot of fun. Here are some brief thoughts on the bands I saw.
Hamilton's Arkells were playing when we arrived, so I missed the first couple of songs. They closed out with their two radio hits, and showed a great deal of promise. I'll be keeping my good eye on these guys.
Although they didn't play "Still in Love Song", a personal favourite, the set was solid and I dug 'em, even though it rained throughout. This Montreal band recently won the Juno for Best Alternative Album of the Year.
The rain stopped for k-os, and the sun almost shone. He added some much appreciated hip-hop flavour to Edgefest, and killed with hits "Sunday Morning" and "Man I Used to Be." This was my 3rd favourite set of the night.
Emily Haines is a rock goddess. The set was tight, full of hits and future hits, and a couple of strong and smart monologues from Haines. My buddy, previously lukewarm on this band, is now converted. It was my 2nd favourite set of the night.
I enjoyed Alexisonfire live more than I thought I would. They're a wall of noise with lots of screaming, but there's often melody in there somewhere and they've got three guys with three different rock scream styles. It was a fun set, but I was distracted a little by the massive mud slide to my left.
AFI was the only American act on the big stage, and if we were going to import an act, as they did last year with Stone Temple Pilots and Linkin Park, why AFI? Seriously, I tried guys... but they're Matchbox 20 to my ears, without the sing-along numbers. Maybe it's the guy's voice I don't like. Admittedly, Miss Murder is a decent song, but everything else bored me.
I've always liked Billy Talent, but I'd never seen them live. They blew me away. Hit laden, adrenaline charged and frenetic. They played every radio hit in their repertoire and crowd-pleased the shit out of us. They were fantastic, and worthy of a headlining spot.