Yes, it is even more of day one of the Live at Squamish festival! When last we left off, I had just seen We Are The City on the Serf stage, and the day was just about half over. One thing I will point out is how great it was to see the festival supporting the local and/or smaller artists. And I am always going off on how neat it is that Vancouver musicians support each other... well, there were more than a few of them in the crowd. Adaline, David Vertesi and Zach Gray were all among the people who were there, not playing, but to see their friends. And even the ones that were there would be at each others sets. But I digress, back to the music!
At this point I was torn about going to see The Dudes or Hollerado. Both bands I had heard they were fantastic live, and neither I had really heard all that much of. But I liked what little I had heard from Hollerado more than what little from The Dudes (and I was too lazy to change stages) so I stuck around the Serf stage. And I am glad I did, because man, did they put on a hell of a show. I don't think anyone would call the band "groundbreaking", but they have a fantastic energy about them, and made their set just pure fun. Aside from their assortment of songs -- I actually recognized more that I thought I would -- they threw in a couple covers. The first was "Surfin' Bird", which saw the lead singer jump down into the corwd, then get hoisted back on stage. The other was a pretty damn good cover of "Rockin' in the Free World". They definitely won me over for their set, and I can see why they won the Big Money Shot Competition put on by Ottowa radio station Live 88.5.
After them, it was time to haul ass to the main stage. In the first post I mentioned that I knew I had to come when they added my favourite musician. Well, that man is Matthew Good.
The set started with the familiar cheer of "K-I-C-K-A-S-S, that's the way we spell success", and the band coming out to open with "Giant". It had been a while since I saw a show open with this, so that was awesome. It was followed by a couple more from Beautiful Midnight; "The Future is X-Rated", which is a song I'm not sure I've ever seen him play, and the song that really set the crowd off, "Hello, Time Bomb". Actually, the crowd seemed to be kind of rowdy during the set, moshing and crowd surfing to songs that you really can't do those to... I guess it was the usual somewhat liquored up festival crowd type, though. After a few others, mostly from the newest album, Vancouver, and a great version of "Apparitions" which features a lap steel, he ended the night with "Champions of Nothing", dedicated to Geoff Lloyd, founding member of the Matthew Good Band who passed away in February.
There was also an odd energy from Good. He wasn't nearly as talkative as he usually is; even stating that he had nothing, really, to say. I know in the past, festival-like shows haven't been kind to Good, but there was nothing thrown on stage this time, so I am just going to assume he was having an off day. But even with all that, he was still pretty damn great when playing, and it was, as usual, a treat to see him live. The show didn't quite match up to the last few times I saw him, but I guess it's hard to compare a festival set to a proper show.
At this point I could have left happy, but there was still one more... Devo! I never thought I would ever actually see Devo play live, so this was pretty damn nifty. Even though they were looking their age, they sure didn't sound like it. Though they did sound very much like the 80s still; they do have a very distinctive sound. A sound which maybe... should not have gone on for as long as it did. Some bands can play an hour and a half (or longer) set no problem. Some... not so much. Devo was in the latter. But don't get me wrong, the show was still incredible fun to watch, with multiple costume changes, and some funny/appropriate/great videos up on the screen behind them. There were the obvious hits, like "Whip It", "Beautiful World" and "Jocko Homo", which saw the lead singer go into the crowd for the call & response "Are we not men? We are Devo!" Aside from the length (which, I admit, could have just been fatigue and/or hunger setting in), it was still really cool experience.
And luckily, the rain more or less held off for the day, just sprinkling a little as the night came to an end. And so, that was day one. Some incredible acts -- many I have, would, or will pay to see live on their own. I also got to meet some great people.
Again, since there was so much to see and do, I have decided to split the weekend into four parts. Coming up: Day two, part one: You Say Party, Civil Twilight & Mother Mother. And I have posted the weekends pics on my flickr, check them out! Will day two live up to day one? Stay tuned to find out!