Posted on August 18, 2009
THE BIG TIME OUT 2009
What surprised me most about the festival was the inclusiveness. Not only was it a family-friendly event with artistic and creative outlets for children, but the music was as varied as it was fantastic. While it may be cliché to say that there was something for everyone, that fact couldn’t be more true. And for this someone, there were three performers that were must-sees on the bill.
As expected, D2D’s intense energy got the entire crowd jumping, dancing and waving their hands in the air. Fusing together deep Bhangra, Celtic and Dub roots with a taste of hip hop, D2D have an incredibly distinctive sound that’s all theirs.
What makes D2D truly their own is the fact that the group lacks any sort of cookie-cutter sound. Their range of sound is as large and far-reaching as the variety of instruments incorporated to create the music they do. I found it next-to-impossible to take my eyes off the stage because D2D are every bit performers as they are musicians.
With hours to kill until Mihirangi hit the stage, I did a bit of exploring, eating and dancing. The crowd had a great vibe the entire day through.
When I caught a glimpse of this gourmet burger booth at the Filberg Festival earlier in August, I was tempted by it but opted for veggie rice rolls instead. However, after hours of dancing and walking, my stomach was hungry and the only cure was a yamburger.
Made from local ingredients and supporting Comox Valley-based businesses, the yamburger was every bit as delicious as I’d hoped it would be. However, with a 40-minute wait between the time I ordered to the time I actually got my burger, I may opt for something else next time.
Local DJs were dropping the needle between sets, so we were jamming to Snoop Dogg, Bob Marley and Justin Timberlake under the hot sun. I’m quite sure I’ll never again be able to hear “Could You Be Loved?” by Bob without thinking of this day.
No girl in her right mind passes up ice cream, but after these monster cones, Bethany had just about had her fill. “Wouldn’t it be funny if I just tossed it over the fence?” would’ve been funnier had her ice cream glob not actually gone flying. 10-Second Rule, right?
Or is it the Dump-Your-Ice-Cream-On-Your-Husband Rule?
By 8pm I was ready for more moneymaker-shaking, which worked out perfectly because that’s the time Australia’s Mihirangi hit the stage. This mesmerizing one-woman show (with the back-up of DJ Katch) came out in full force, singing in both her native Maori and English.
What I love – love – so much about her sound is that it’s multi-layered. Much of what you hear is recorded through beatboxing, and each song builds upon itself.
Crowd favourite? Oui.
With a near-perfect blend of tough and tender, humour with all seriousness, Mihirangi is set for world domination in this girl’s opinion. And if any of that won’t hook you, the infectious giggle she seems to end each song with is living proof that she loves what she does and lives what she loves.
I found this video on her YouTube, which shows her entire song-building process. Amazing stuff.
What would a festival be if they didn’t save the best for last? After energetic performances from Mother, Mother and a number of belly dancers and silk aerials, Sam Roberts Band hit the stage around 10:30pm. Needless to say, the crowd went insane.
The Montreal-based band may not have made any promises, but they certainly delivered. Entertaining us all with tunes both old and new, Sam Roberts and his band commandeered the stage with drive and and enthusiasm right to the end.
There’s always something exciting about hearing a song live that you’ve been listening to on your iPod for years. In truth, I may have even listened to his older material on my Sony Discman. And somehow, Sam always seems to ask the right questions in his music:
Memories of the day? Too many to name. Regrets of the day? Not buying more merchandise – and I never buy merchandise at concerts.
I think it goes without saying that I’m already counting down the days to next year’s festival. A tip-to-self for 2010: I’ll leave my blanket and backpack at home. They only serve to inhibit dancing in the mud…
(A huge thank you to Cumberland Village Works for organizing and holding this awesome community event!)