I’m going to begin by saying that I’m incredibly biased. Stars has been my favourite band of all time since “Your Ex-Lover is Dead” came out in 2005, and I think that pretty much everything they do is some kind of wonderful. While Stars fans haven’t been given a new album since 2014, the band has been satiating their fans by blowing them away with surprising covers that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to work, performing “I Took A Pill” in Ibiza mid-way through their set. Known for his more passionate performances and embellished in a messy black permanent marker, front man Torquil Campbell of Stars wore the words “Doing it for Gord” in honor of The Tragically Hip frontman on his shirt as he walked up to the front of the stage. Amy Millan’s voice sounded like silk as the band performed an array of songs from their discography, like Elevator Love Letter and No One is Lost, her stage presence only growing as the band announced that she was in fact, with child. Their performance was so beautiful that it was enough to make members of the crowd actually cry, myself included.
To quote singer and songwriter Ezra Charles Jordan, Tennyson is the kind of talented that makes you want to rip out their adorably pure hearts and eat them, if only to acquire even half of their talent. Luke Tennyson Pretty and Tessa Rain Pretty are a Canadian brother sister act from Edmonton that can turn anything (literally, anything) into an electronic lullaby. While their music is unique just on its own, what’s interesting about them is how much they’ve managed to accomplish with their music at such young ages. They’ve been busking since they were 8 and 9, and had two jazz albums released by the time Luke was 12. Their sound is a winning combination of whirring, beeps, bolts, and all kinds of odd sounds that come together in an electronic loop to form songs. Wayhome Music Festival acting as their first performance at a festival their set was one for the books.
Haim have been a staple of the local indie-music circuit for years, opening for Florence and the Machine and collaborating with big names such as Major Lazer, Childish Gambino, and Kid Cudi. Having never seen Haim perform live, I was a little excited. The notably Jewish, all girl group from Los Angeles with catchy rock and pop music that has been taking the world by storm had caught my attention, and they did not disappoint. While the music was great, Danielle Haim’s sexy, raspy voice evoked cheers from the crowd and Alana Haim doing the band proud with her energetic guitar riffs. What I found to be the most delectably entertaining thing about the band were the hilarious funny faces instinctively made by the band’s bassist, Este Haim. Telling jokes on stage, with beaming smiles on their faces, Haim proved that they could perform as well as they played.
A Tribe Called Red
What happens when you take hip-hop music, moombahton, dubstep and reggae and combine it with elements of First Nations music? The electronic music group, A Tribe Called Red. Originating from Ottawa, the group has managed to do a lot in such a short span of time. Within just a couple of years they’ve quickly become the face of an urban Native youth renaissance, championing their heritage and speaking out on aboriginal issues, while being at the head of popular music. Their performance was powerful and striking, commanding attention from every corner of the Waybold tent. Not a single person within earshot of the area was able to resist dancing to their songs. With surprise musical guest Shad and their strong aboriginal back up dancers, A Tribe Called Red easily became one of my favourite performances of the summer.
I feel like I don’t even know where to start with this band. Metric is one of those bands that always delivers. Opening with IOU, a song almost a decade old, the band sounded sharper and crisper than ever. Accessorizing herself with a sheer green cape, lead singer, Emily Haines generated a palpable presence while performing heavier song Dead Disco.
Having never heard Dilly Dally’s music before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. If someone told me that I’d be listening to the most hardcore version of Drake’s “Know Yourself” at a 1:00pm opening slot on a Sunday afternoon, I probably wouldn’t have believed them. A lot of singers tend to turn great hits into garbage when they do covers, but this was not the case with Dilly Dally. Lead singer Katie Monks was both quirky and charming, transforming the song into the Drake cover to end all Drake covers while still maintaining the Torontonian rapper’s artistic vision. The grunge rockers made a lasting impression on me, and I loved every minute of their performance.
Okay, if Austin Powers, Black Sabbath and The Strokes were to have a love child, it would look and sound exactly like The Struts. This band is groovy baby and after a long climb to the top they’re finally making some well-deserved strides in their music.
Maybe it’s that they opened with my favourite song, “Mr. Brightside”, or maybe it’s that Brandon Flowers still manages to look like the brooding 20-something year old heartthrob that I grew up listening to, despite having aged 15 years. To put it bluntly, The Killers killed it. While a majority of bands will use their time on stage to solely showcase new material, what made this set interesting is that they started out with a fan favourite, gave a heartfelt speech about old songs sometimes being the best songs, and evenly spaced out old Killers with new Killers, playing songs like “Somebody Told Me” along newer songs like “Human”.
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