Sled Island is one of Canada’s premier summer events, an annual independent multi-venue music and arts festival in Calgary, Alberta. The music part of the festival will happen in Calgary from June 30 to July 3, 2010. There is also a Film ‘festival of festivals’ that will take place from June 24 to 29.
Christine Comrie, host of Charts & Graphs (Tuesdays, 3 to 4PM), will be reporting from the 2010 music festival, as will Toban Brownridge, host of Fan Death (Saturdays, 2:30 to 4PM).
Just getting myself together from the amazingly long day of music yesterday. My day started off chillin’ at Olympic Plaza watching one of the most amazing line-up of bands I’ve ever watched. No Means No, Big Business, The Melvins, Hot Water Music then finishing with Dinosaur Jr. This was the first time I had seen these bands (except for HWM) and holy can they rock out! The dudes from No Means No were up there in the age bracket and there music was no indication of this at all. The Melvins, whoa, The Melvins, there was a lot of talk about these guys and we were not let down.
What a great way to spend an afternoon. We got tons of free drinks from the festival and Sitka clothing hooked me up with this hoodie just for showing up! What a nice way to be welcomed to Calgary with a Victoria company!
Besides the bands the best part of the festival was the bicycle community that seemed to form around the festival. Riding from venue to venue was way more efficient when we had our bikes to cruz around the city, no parking, no traffic and no worries! Check out the sweet bike I locked up next too!
After Dino Jr. we caught Slam Dunk playing at Dicken’s Pub. I hadn’t had a chance to see this Victoria Band at home and decided to show them some Victoria love. We danced and thrashed our little indie hearts out on the dance floor then quickly scooted over to the Legion to catch No Age, then GZA. To no avail. The line up was huge and it did not look like we were getting in. But on our bikes we cruised back over to Dicken’s Pub and caught Les Savy Fav. We finished up the night with !!!, I had missed them them the night before, so I had to make it or else I might never see them again! They were so good, the dance floor was ini-dated by booty’s shaking bodies. This funk/rock band was one of the highlights of the festival for me, I had such a great time dancing the night away with this N.Y. group. The lead singers kept the crowd going, with electric volume energy. Wicked stage presence!
Thanks Sled Island I had an amazing experience and all your staff and volunteers were amazing. Will definitely be on the look out for you next year! I thought I would leave you all with some photos of my nights/days of music.
Saturday at Sled Island was epic and exhausting. The previous three days of fantastic music, along with lack of sleep and good time having finally took its toll.
The Main Stage began at 1:30 and boasted a stupendous roster: The Black Lips, The Bronx, No Means No, Big Business, The Melvins, Hot Water Music, and Dinosaur Jr. As expected this one stage event was absolutely amazing. Every act was outstanding even if they were a bit haggard from the previous 3 days of the festival.
After grabbing a quick slice it was to the Legion one last time. I arrived to catch the last bit of local group Hunter Gatherer. Then it was downstairs to catch a very fine, yet short, set by Vancouver`s own White Lung.
Back upstairs, I saw the first two songs of Peace before their base skin busted and were unable to play. I didn`t stick around to watch it get fixed. Back downstairs LA`s No Age took the stage and began to “rock the crowd“. It was at this point that the previous 10 hours of music and 3 days of rad finally caught up to me.
I took a breather upstairs and saw 2 tracks from Fist City before GZA was due back in the main hall. After some minor delays The Genius once again put on another fine display of lyrical mastery. Ending the night, and capping off the festival, was Fucked Up. This was another banger at the Legion. An amazing set that was representative of the previous 3 days.
Sled Island 2010 greatly exceeded my expectations. This event has ascended into the realm of “must see summer festivals“. I can`t even imagine what the lineup will be for next year as 2010`s was unbelievable. I wish to thank all involved for putting on the event, CFUV, and friends. This week has been a blast and I hope to be back next year.
Day 3 of Sled Island proved to be a rockin`good time. Arriving at Olympic Plaza in the early evening in order to meet up with a fried I caught three quarters of Ted Leo & The Pharmacists. They put on a fine display of up tempo, no frills rock.
Afterwards, we ventured to Broken City in order to get some prime real estate for East Van`s Bison BC. These brutally crucial slayers managed an excellent set despite feeling the effects from last nights epic eve. Before Bison BC Montreal`s Trigger Effect entertained the crowd.
Immediately afterwards, I hopped on over to the Republik. As I entered the venue and snagged a spot Big Business took the stage immediately. This show was epic but only proved to be a warm-up for The Melvins.
The ensuing display of monumental musical mastery was difficult to put into words. This two headed colossus of battering beats blasting out rhythms provided a template for excellent riffage for this four piece. The two drummers played symmetrical kits set up for each one`s desired dexterity. This was one performance that I will never forget.
Today I will visit the Mainstage at Olympic Plaza all day. Then off to The Legion for a plethora of bands.
Day two of Sled Island lived up to every expectation. The atmosphere and organization of the festival to date has been IMMACULATE. Every venue, aside from the Palomino in the mid afternoon, has been packed. Additionally, there have been little to no lineups, other than for people who try to buy tickets at the door.
Due to energy level logistics I was unable to make it to the Mint Records showcase at Broken City. Talking to a random show-go-er later in the night I heard it was excellent.
At the Palomino Edmonton`s Goose threw down a nice set. Up next was Calgary`s own In Vacuo who crowed with their spastic art-tinged hardcore. Then it was time for a nice BBQ on a beautiful Canada Day in order to prep for the long night ahead.
First up was Mini Mansions. This LA trio was the surprise of the evening for me. They played an extremely tight and wonderful collage of Beatles tinged pop-rock. The highlight of their set for me was their half time rendition of Blondie`s Heart of Glass. I previously knew nothing of them and was mainly at the Republik this early to get a good spot for Calgary`s Women. Mini Mansions were a nice treat to bide the time indeed.
Women then took the stage within a timely fashion. These youngsters are surrounded by a lot of hype at the moment. Their newest recording Public Strain is gathering lots of press, and for good reason. They did not fail to disappoint. Women were fantastic. Then I stuck around to check out The Posies. After a couple tracks I decided I should venture elsewhere before I have my second date in as many nights with the Black Lips. I stopped for 30 minutes at the Distillery, which is a great place to see live music. I took in half the set of The Thermals and then had to leave for The Legion.
Upon entering this fine establishment adorned with Canadian Military Heraldry I was surprised to see Mark Sultan aka BBQ playing drums with two members of the Black Lips, and who I later found out to be Bloodshot Bill, lacing us with his wild rock-a-billy wails. Due to sheer ignorance the Ding Dongs flew completely under my radar. I was really impressed and wished that I had caught their entire set.
The Black Lips took the stage at 1:30am and instantly turned the venue into brawling chaos. Beer bottles were thrown everywhere, bodies were flying, and the whole venue could not resist dancing up a storm to this foursome. Pumping out gem after jam there was no letting up from the band nor the crowd. After all was said and done the condition of the animal house was abysmal at best. Glancing around, the stage and floor were covered in smashed beer bottles and other dangerous litter. Their “first show in Canada“ will be talked about for some time.
This evenin` I will hit up Trigger Effect and Bison at Broken City. Then it`s back to the Republik to see Big Business and festival headliners The Melvins. I hope to catch some random act around town before hand as well. As I have been taking all day to update this blog I have had many a discussion with my friend and host Will on how excellent Sled Island has been so far and how exciting it is that the whole city has embraced this event. It will definitely bode well for the future of Sled Island and Calgary`s independent music scenes.
Sled Island night one = Success!!!! If the remaining 3 days and nights of this festival shake with the magnitude that last night did I will have battle stories to tell for generations to come. In its fourth year this PREMIER gala boasts some massive names across the musical spectrum that will please followers of independent music.
Last nights opening was no exception. The first wave of destruction was set loose upon the innocents by East Van’s own Bogus Tokus. These thrashing combatants absolutely levelled the masses who were fortunate enough to be inside Calgary’s Ship & Anchor. Barely surviving the onslaught I carefully treaded through the decimation to the next skirmish.
It seems that the Sled Island command centre was aware of the annihilation that its phalanxes would bring so just before 1am they sent forth The Almighty Defenders to righteously resurrect the casualties of war with their unique blend of gospel, doo-wop, and 60’s garage punk at the Legion. This divine super-group composed of the Black Lips along with King Khan & BBQ were unfortunately without King Khan who had to pull out of the festival due to extensive touring and exhaustion.
The final riders of the night were C’Mon back at the Ship. With their crushingly tight display of driving R’nR the remaining survivors were forced to concede the night’s battle. Sled Island conquers.
This day’s to see list include the Mint Records showcase at Broken City . Then it’s off to a late afternoon show at the Palomino to take in Goose and In Vacuo. In the evening I will witness Women then back to the Legion for Black Lips. All in all it promises to be a great Canada Day.
SLED ISLAND FILM IS ALMOST HERE! June 24- 29
I am DJ Craftyass and I will be reporting live from SLED ISLAND 2010. This little Vancouver Island dj will be crossing the ocean, heading through the mountains (I know THROUGH the mountains!) to head to another type of Island. One full of film, art, music, food and oh so tasty, thirst quenching drinks in a town called CALGARY (and these guys have bunnies too!).
The film festival will be showcasing over 20 signatory film programs and they will be partnering with Alberta Media Arts Alliance Society which will be hosting panel discussions on relevant issues today regarding film media. All but two of the films will be at the Plaza Theatre located at 1133 Kensington Road Northwest.
Check out the synopsis of the films being screened here, and figure out which one’s I’m gonna see you at! I could give you a taste of what is there but then your mouth would be full, this event has every genre of film covered, so check them all out! The 9th annual Indie Music Video Festival will also be screening Music Videos on June 26th at the Broken City Social Club at 7 p.m.
The best part of the Film section of Sled Island is that it is FREE with your festival wrist band or your V.I.P. pass. So if you haven’t bought your pass yet make sure you get it here. If you just wanted to catch the film festival, passes are $25 and it gets you into all of the screenings over the six days.