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Summer Music Highlights


thomson
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I heard a lot of great music this summer and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Below are four of my summer music highlights; I’d love to hear about some of yours.

4. Being “in the pit†for Hold Steady at TURF. Now, I’ll admit that using the term “pit†is a bit of an exaggeration but being at the front amongst the diehards was not only fun but also nostalgic as I hadn't listened to that band in a few years.

Side note: Speaking of TURF for a first-time event this was very well run (save one lack-of-washrooms issue on the last day). The lineup was great and it was refreshing to have no overlaps and no waiting for sets. The organizers are encouraging people to advocate for the continued use of Fort York as a music venue. The TURF website states:

“If you had a great time and feel so inclined, we’re asking people to email Councillor Mike Layton (Councillor_layton@toronto.ca) to let him know how important events like TURF, which take place in downtown Toronto, are to the City of Torontoâ€

I already e-mail councilor Layton and encourage all Canadian music-lovers to do so too.

3. Seeing Dylan at Toronto’s Americanarama. I’d seen him before but never with such good seats and never a show at which he was so coherent. I liked his performance, his band members, and the song selection. It was also my last night of a two-week run of live music before going overseas for vacation so I was in very very good spirits.

2. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ set at Gentlemen of the Road in Simcoe. I’d heard this band’s radio hits and always enjoyed them but I’d never really listened to their catalogue. Leading up to the fest I started listening to them and dug their stuff but man-oh-man was I ever impressed with their live show. It was vaguely Flaming-Lips-y in its spectacularness (although there were no costumes, confetti cannons, or hamster balls). There are oodles of band members and they all contribute to the sound (unlike a many-member band like Camera Obscura where there are lots of people on stage but it sounds as though only three or four of them are actually making music). Four or five band members took turn on lead vocals and there was plenty of audience interaction. I wouldn’t drop out of life to follow this band but I sure dug their set.

Side note #2: I was extremely impressed with how less-run this event was. There was lots to do on site and it seems they’d thought of everything in terms of logistics.

1. Ok, now my number one pick needs a disclaimer. I am not picking this to poke fun and I am not picking this out of irony or sarcasm. This really was to coolest musical thing I witnessed all summer…

My number one is C-Town’s washboard solo at the Tottenham Bluegrass Festival.

Yes, the very C-Towns that we all know and love. Yes the washboard.

Now the draw of Tottenham, for those of you who have never been, is not the bands in the official lineup. The main draw is the world-class bluegrass jamming that occurs in the campground. Literally at all hours you can wander around and here people pickin’. We have essentially established an area for skanks & friends in the campground and we rapidly got the reputation for

a) Playing until past dawn every night

B) Playing songs that aren’t all bluegrass standards because there are so many fabulous song writers in the crowd (my personal favourite being Blurry).

So here’s the scene. We’re hours into a late night jam and, as usual, in most songs a few pickers take a solo. C-Towns joined the jam playing percussive washboard for a few songs. Part way through a song someone, likely jokingly, asked C-Town if he’d like to solo and whoa-nelly did our boy ever rise to the occasion! He played a long, varied solo that exceeded everyone’s expectations and blew us all away. Anyone I saw my within the next few weeks likely heard about it b/c I could not stop talking about how awesome I thought it was and how lucky I felt to be there to witness it.

Summer ends this weekend but fear not, Rocktober is just around the corner.

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this summer was packed with music for me.

Highlights were:

-CK5 @ Hollywood Bowl (special guest Phish)

-NIN @ Golden Gate Park

-Steve Martin & Edie Brickell @ Minneapolis State Theatre

-The Stones in the Pit in Toronto (x2)

I was really amazed at how good NIN was. One of the best shows I've seen.

You know you've had a good summer of music when sitting on Mike Gordon's lap while Phil Lesh sang you lullabies around the camp fire isn't even in your top-five.

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this summer was packed with music for me.

Highlights were:

-CK5 @ Hollywood Bowl (special guest Phish)

-NIN @ Golden Gate Park

-Steve Martin & Edie Brickell @ Minneapolis State Theatre

-The Stones in the Pit in Toronto (x2)

I was really amazed at how good NIN was. One of the best shows I've seen.

You know you've had a good summer of music when sitting on Mike Gordon's lap while Phil Lesh sang you lullabies around the camp fire isn't even in your top-five.

Oooooooooops.

So yeah, Jerry day at TXR should def. be at the top of the list.

I'm dumb.

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this summer was packed with music for me.

Highlights were:

-CK5 @ Hollywood Bowl (special guest Phish)

-NIN @ Golden Gate Park

-Steve Martin & Edie Brickell @ Minneapolis State Theatre

-The Stones in the Pit in Toronto (x2)

I was really amazed at how good NIN was. One of the best shows I've seen.

You know you've had a good summer of music when sitting on Mike Gordon's lap while Phil Lesh sang you lullabies around the camp fire isn't even in your top-five.

Oooooooooops.

So yeah' date=' Jerry day at TXR should def. be at the top of the list.

I'm dumb.

[/quote']

I was gonna say...that could be a lifetime topper for me I would think although hard to "rank" these types of moments in time I find.

C-towns you are a star and true inspiration ;)

For me I have to say Gathering of the Vibes took the cake for me this summer. Just an all around great time, great crew, great site, great weather, great ocean, great headspace, comfy lifeguard chairs with a great view, and the music was fantastic. As I said on here before Phil & Friends night two with Medeski, Scofield, Kadlecic and Russo in particular is one for the history books for me.

Kickin up dirt to Old Crow and floaty floatin along to Edward Sharpe and the Zeroes was certainly a highlight as well. As was the music and cheer back at the site with a bunch of good folk.

I know I'm forgetting other honourable mentionables but heck...back to work

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Vibes was awesome, Phil and his amazing friends, Kimock and Worrell, Deep Banana Blackout, Kung Fu, Railroad Earth, John Butler shaking the earth beneath me and the Black Crowes (sweaty guy and all) stand out the most.

Gentlemen of the Road was an amazing weekend, shirt or no shirt. Old Crow and Edward Sharpe standing out the most along with Diesel Dog in the mean streets of Simcoe.

Taking my daughter to her first real concert to see the Avett Brothers in Buffalo was special although the venue/sight lines were terrible

Being in the Pit for Dave Matthews in Toronto was a great way to see him for my first time although I don't know his catalog at all post Everyday, still a good time.

Tottenham and the Dionne are always summer highlites to allowing me to give back to music in my own iron chested way...

Seeing tons of folks at Phish in Toronto was fun also.

Despite all of the questionable reviews, The Burt Neilson Band show at the Sweatbox post cancelled Phish was possibly my muscical highlight of the summer for various different reasons.

(My summer starts in early May when the shorts are broken out)

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1. Phil Lesh at Levon's Barn with his kids and the Midnight Ramble Band followed by the Lesh Scofield Haynes version of Phil n Friends the next night at Mountain Jam.

2.Furthur at Cooperstown

3.Dylan and Wilco at Darien Lake

4.Allman Brothers and a Steve Kimock version of Ratdog at Peachfest.

5. Mickey Hart in Hamilton and Buffalo with my wife on her birthday.

I got to spend a good amount of time with tour friends from 30 years ago at most of these shows.

6. Lee Harvey Osmond with lots of guests on Hamilton's waterfront. Here's just one of the highlights from this show:

Very cool that Colin Linden and Amy Helm performed on two different nights from my list!

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