Tag Archive: Hey Ocean


War Child Lounge (the Atrium building)

11:30 Current Swell – As much as the whole west coast folk rock scene isn’t really my thing, I just can’t hate Current Swell. Their last few singles have really grown on me and it will be great to see them in an intimate setting.
12:00 Rich Aucoin – I’m intrigued to see what Rich has planned for the setting of the Atrium building.
12:30 Sloan – After almost 20 years of being a fan, I finally get to see Sloan! I don’t know what has stopped me every single time I’ve had the chance to see them, but my plans were foiled every single time.

Royal Athletic Park

1:15 Zerbin – That song “New Earth” of his that I hear on the Zone all the time is darn catchy. I’m looking forward to hearing what else Zerbin has in his catalog.
4:15 The Jezabels – Quite a few people have recommended the Jezabels to me, so I’m planning on checking them out.
5:45 Dan Mangan – I’ve seen Dan Mangan quite a few times and I love his latest album Oh Fortune. The band that he’s been playing with lately is just fantastic.
6.45 Sloan – There are so many Sloan songs I need to hear live, there is absolutely no way I’d be able to hear them all in this short 45 minute set. As long as “Underwhelmed” makes an appearance, I’ll be happy.
7:30 Cake – If you knew how many hours of my life I’ve spent listening to Cake, you’d probably be embarrassed for me. I’m pretty excited to see them live again.

Night Stages

10:30 The Jezabels @ Alix Goolden – On the off chance I don’t make it to the early part of the Royal Athletic Park activities on Saturday, you might find me here.
10:30 The Ruffled Feathers @ Wood Hall – A band from Vancouver that features a trumpet. At times they remind me of Beirut with an infusion of pop.
11:30 Jordan Klassen @ Wood Hall – Jordan is one of the top 20 in the Peak Performance Project this year. I missed his set at Rock of the Woods the other month so it will be great to see him.
11:30 Chixdiggit! @ Victoria Events Centre – It was a pretty big bummer when Chixdiggit had to cancel their show back in March due to a family emergency. This is going to be a great show and I’m looking forward to reliving some songs from my teen years.
12:30 Carmanah @ Wood Hall – Carmanah is a local band I’ve been meaning to check out and still haven’t got around to seeing. Unfortunately I think the Antlers are going to win out in this time slot, but if that show is full I’ll end up here.
12:30 The Antlers @ Alix Goolden – I can’t believe this, but I totally forgot that the Antlers are playing Rifflandia this year. Their latest album is fantastic. The last time slot on Saturday at the Alix Goolden ended up being my favourite set at last year’s festival so I have high hopes for the final Saturday slot this year.


War Child Lounge (the Atrium building)

11:30 Hey Ocean! – You know, I don’t think I’ve seen a full set from Hey Ocean yet. That’s a travesty. This is where my wrongs will be righted.
12:00 Mother Mother – I guess it’s not Rifflandia unless Mother Mother plays. The intimate setting of the Atrium sounds like it will be a great place to see them.

Royal Athletic Park

12:30 The Archers – If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s super talented kids who are way younger than me and way more famous than I’ll ever be. The Archers are those kids. You should check them out.
2:00 Grand Analog – Grand Analog played Rifflandia two years and put on a great show. I hope he breaks out the kazoo again.
2:45 Current Swell – Current Swell played a great set at Rock the Shores the other month. I’m looking forward to seeing them again.
5:00 Hey Ocean! – I really hope that it’s sunny this weekend because I can’t imagine listening to Hey Ocean! in anything other than sunny weather. Maybe they’ll bring summer back. Oh, and be sure to say hi to the flippy hair guitar player.
5:45 Reggie Watts – All you need to do to get excited to see Reggie Watts is watch his cover of Van Halen’s “Panama”. (You can find video of that here. Sorry for the stupid ad at the beginning of the video.)
7:30 Mother Mother – It will be pretty great to see Mother Mother close out the festival. Actually, I can’t think of an act that’s more perfect to have this time slot.

Live At Squamish 2011 – Day 1

After a bit of a blogging hiatus (but by no means a music hiatus) I figure I better get writing about what I’ve been up to this summer.

Hey Ocean

My adventures at the Live At Squamish festival started off with a secret show for the Green Couch Sessions by Vancouver band Hey Ocean. They played a quick three song set of things that wouldn’t be in their act on the main stage later that night. It was a lot of fun and the band ended with a cover of the oldie “Be My Baby“. (Turns out that some people really liked the band… or more specifically they really liked guitarist Devon Lougheed.) Green Couch Sessions sponsored a series of secret shows throughout the weekend, including short sets by: Top Less Gay Love Teckno Party, Rococode, Redbird and Portage & Main, Woolworm, and Rich Hope and Black Mountain. Keep an eye on their website for these sessions to be posted (and in the meantime, check out some of the other awesome things they have up there). Unfortunately Hey Ocean’s set was the only Green Couch Session I was able to see this weekend, but I hope the festival keeps this feature.

Kim Churchill

Next I headed over to the Garibaldi Stage. This side stage was situated on a baseball diamond, with the stands converted into a beer garden. This was a great place to camp out for the day, especially since most of the seats were in the shade and it was pretty hot out that weekend. I arrived in time to see most of Kim Churchill’s performance – what an amazing guitar player he is. When we first arrived I was standing beside the stage and remarked something like “the bass player and the drummer are turned up way too loud”. Turns out that there was no bass player nor was there a drummer, it was just Kim on stage with a single acoustic guitar and a bass drum. This was probably my best find of the festival.

Emily Haines and James Shaw of Metric

Emily Haines and James Shaw of Metric were on the Garibaldi Stage after Kim Churchill. It was announced late in the planning process that Metric would actually play two sets at Live At Squamish – an acoustic set on the Saturday and a full out electric traditional Metric set on the main stage on Sunday. I’m not the biggest Metric fan, but it was neat to see something different from them. The set was mostly Emily on piano and vocals and James on guitar, with them playing favourites like “Help I’m Alive” and “Combat Baby” as well as playing a few cover songs.

At this point the Garibaldi Stage was running a bit behind, so when I headed over to the Main Stage to see Hey Ocean it turns out that I had missed most of their set. I managed to catch the last two songs though, and it sounded like I missed a good one.



I spent the remainder of the evening with the amazing lineup on the Main Stage. Stars were up next. I don’t know if the band has ever played a show on Vancouver Island, they certainly haven’t in the past five years, so I was really excited to see them play. The set was heavy with songs from their latest release The Five Ghosts, with some old favourites sprinkled in. Before launching into the haunting “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead”, Torquil Campbell asked us to “take a moment to think of the ones we hate most”. The set was closed out with the song “Elevator Love Letter”. Grant Lawrence will be pleased to know that the crowd started cheering only a couple bars in with some “recognition applause”. It had been a while since I had seen any video of the band, and let me say they were looking HOT. I mean that literally. You would never guess that lead Amy Millan just became a mother five short months ago. Torquil Campbell was looking pretty good himself, sporting a deep summer tan.


While we waited for the evening’s big headliners to set up, we were treated to a short performance by everyone’s favourite slam poet Shane Koyczan. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Shane perform a few times. The first time was at the Vancouver Island Music Festival back in 2008, before anyone knew him as the guy with the Canada poem from the Vancouver 2010 Olympics Closing Ceremony, and even before people knew him as the guy who did the poem in that Dan Mangan song (the song is called “Tragic Turn Of Events / Move Pen Move“, I dare you to listen to it without crying). While the novelty of “holy crap, there’s a guy on stage reciting poetry!” has worn off for me, the thing that continues to impress me with Shane’s performances is the dynamics. The build that he shows from simply saying words to full on screaming his heart out on stage is the best factor of his live shows and is what I think makes his performances fit so well when put into a music festival.

I spent most of the John Butler Trio set in the beer garden. It was an… interesting experience. I don’t know if I heard much of the music above the party going on there, but friends tell me that I missed out on one of the best performances of the weekend. One particular highlight that many people agreed on was the performance of “Ocean“.

Girl Talk

Day 1 of Live At Squamish was closed out by Girl Talk. Of all the acts I would see this weekend, I was most intrigued by this one. On one hand I knew what to expect – I had listened to the latest album, I knew that Gregg Gillis did the mixing of songs from his massive collection of samples live at his shows, and I knew I should expect one hell of a party – and on the other hand I had no idea what exactly the live show would be like. The set started out with Gillis alone on stage behind a table with two laptops. No sooner had I thought “wow, this is going to get old fast” that throngs of festival attendees were allowed on the stage to dance the night away. Then when I thought that had gotten old, two guys with rolls of toilet paper attached to leaf blowers appeared. Then when that got old, the confetti guns were brought out. Then when that got old, balloons were released. Then… you get the idea, the man knows how to entertain a crowd. I was impressed with the breadth of samples used, it wasn’t all just top 40 and hip hop from the past five years. It’s clear that this is the appeal of Girl Talk’s act: a field full of people was able to party out and bond over the likes of The Isley Brothers, Black Sabbath, ELO, Nirvana, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga. (Let it be noted that the biggest cheers were awarded to Michael Jackson and Beyonce.) While I’m not sure that I would ever attend a concert just for the sake of seeing Girl Talk, I’m really glad I got to witness this at Live At Squamish, and it ended up being one of my favourite sets of the weekend.

More of my photos from Day 1 can be found on my Flickr page.

Check out some other coverage from Live At Squamish: