This was my third year attending the Wolfe Island Music Festival (WIMF) and though I can’t say that I found it as musically entertaining as previous years I had a good time as always at pretty much the only festival I manage to get my ass too.
On Friday night we found ourselves in a line to get our wristbands, which was a bit of a surprise. Not the line itself, just the length. We spent most of Bahamas’ set – and we had already missed his opener, Nick Ferrio – waiting in line.
We did catch the finale, where he played straight-up but fun covers of “Hey Ya”, “Wonderful Tonight” and what I think may have been the theme from The Lord of the Rings, as well as his “hit”, which I of course didn’t recall, having found his album to be kind of meh.
We then went to go see Two Hours Traffic but most of us found it boring and headed over to the General Wolfe for Buck 65. I am not a fan of Hip Hop but I found Two Hours Traffic to offer absolutely nothing for me.
On the way by Justin Rutledge was playing and that probably would have been better.
We couldn’t get drinks at the General Wolfe because of the overwhelmed staff and ridiculous customers and Buck 65 wasn’t exactly making an impression on us, so we left.
We decided we’d rather go home than find out what Matthew Barber was like. So the Friday night was a bit of a wash.
Unfortunately, we missed the Huraches, who apparently put on a pretty good show. We also missed Grey Kingdom and Wildlife.
Diana was reasonably interesting but the lead singer’s guitar was mixed so low that we couldn’t hear much of what looked like impressively raw playing.
July Talk stole the show until the headliner putting on the most entertaining – and least kid-friendly – show of the afternoon, which included such wonderful tropes as the male lead singer slapping himself in the face… and then getting slapped by the female lead singer with a baseball cat.
I saw the Wooden Sky for the second time: they were noticeably louder than the previous time. However, the band that had provided the highlight for my trip to the 2011 festival was just fine this time.
Hanna Georgas didn’t make much impression of on me. Though she did cover the Jesus and Mary Chain, which would have been somewhat interesting if I liked them.
I can’t figure out Born Ruffians. They were playing short, seemingly poppy songs that people were going crazy for, but they were full of multiple parts with multiple time signatures – and fairly bereft of obvious hooks – that I should have been into, but they didn’t seem tight enough. But these songs were contrasted with a ballad that could have been performed by one of these R&B revival groups. That’s when I left to go get my sweater. By the time I came back they were singing arena pop rock with huge sing-a-long choruses. So that was weird.
Joel Plaskett was the obvious highlight. I don’t know his catalogue – and frankly it would have helped – but he was energetic, pretty great on the guitar, and he played two encores – at a festival no less. He did this crazy medley where he quoted both contemporary pop hits and oldies – among other things – which must have lasted 15 minutes. Though I would never seek out his records based on the performance, he knows how to perform and he is well worth seeing.