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My Full Hillside 2007 Report


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[blurb]HILLSIDE 2007

First of all, for the uninitiated, Hillside is a festival which has run for the last 24 years just north of Guelph on Guelph Lake. It is more than just great music, it is a shining example of how a festival should be run in every way shape and form. From very little corporate sponsorship, to reusable year to year beer mugs, delicious world food served on reuseable plates, washed by volunteers, a festival indeed powered by volunteers (over a 1000) this is festival in workings like no other. There are ZERO HASSLES from anyone, leaving the festival with a palpable atmosphere of relaxation. There is a main stage, the Island, The Lake and The Sun, all within a three to five minute walk, surrounded on all sides by Guelph Lake.[/blurb]

On to the report

Friday Night

Got into overflow camping and got ready to get into town. Hillside is one of those festivals where you want to spend every waking moment in "the town" itself.

Artists seen:

Workshop with Rock Central Plaza, Jah Yousserf

Workshop with Watermelon Slim and Dya Singh

Martin Sexton

The Golden Dogs


The Golden Dogs

Both workshops were great. The energy of the Dya Singh jam was great. I had never had expose to Martin Sexton before Friday and he is entertaining, talented and is truly a no-gimmicks, no pedals one man show with an octave range to die for. The Golden Dogs made alot of new fans, and entertained an old one in myself.

Saturday Day

Workshop with Apostle of Hustle and Do May Say Thinkers


Great Wooden Trio

Workshop with Ron Sexsmith, Melissa Ferrick



It was a hot Hillside afternoon that found us wandering from spot to spot but opting often for respute from the sun. The first workshop was excellent a great start to the day. Afternoon was entertaining with a really nice workshop with Ron Sexsmith.

Saturday Night

Rock Plaza Central

That 1 guy

The Besnard Lakes


Do Make Say Think

Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton

Apostle of Hustle

Shout Out Out Out


DMST at sunset

Considering "My Children, Be Joyful" and "Devastation" are two of my tracks of the year, the first and third acts of the night had me at hello. RCP was alot of fun. That 1 guy was a sonic machine and a hellava entertainer. The Besnard Lakes were hitting all the right sonic buttons for me. I stayed to watch the first part of Dragonette and was impressed by what I saw (Martina Sorbera and Dan from the New Deal) But the sun was setting and Do Make Say Think were making beautiful noise to send it to bed. Emily Haines was up next and was too down tempo for me so it was off to old favorites Apostle of Hustle who put on a crunchy show.


Table Dancing at Shout Out Out Out

Then the Shout Out Out Out incident. This would produce both a highlight and a lowlight for the weekend. I said to Tungsten and Guigsy before this started "They would have to do something pretty major to fuck up with a crowd this pumped" Something like leave a key piece of equipment back in Guelph? This show got started 25 mins late but when it did, holy shit. The sea of people rocking out on picnic tables! It was quite a sight. A rager and entertaining, mindless and wild.

Post Show - Thanks to Jaybone and Erin for the invite to the campfire so that Britney Spears and Corey Hart play together (very well as predicted)

A Side Note - Food and Drink- This year's food and drink highlights included Millstreet Tankhouse Ale, Trailhead Lager, Diana's Indian Food, The other Indian place that did the Roti's, and the hemp coffee place with the Ice Coffee,

Sunday Afternoon

Workshop - Band Tribute with Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Ron Sexsmith

Angela Desveaux

The Slip

*Swimming* to Elvis Perkins

The D'UBervilles


The Slip

The Afternoon would yield lots of special moments including a nice Band tribute to start the day. The Slip played what I would deem a reserved set which highlighted their softer side but would have left the first timer with a skwerd impression of the band. After that, off for a swim with the lady while we floated and listened to Elvis Perkins. The D'Ubervilles had great energy and would prepare the crowd for the jam to come

Sunday Night

Workshop - Dave Clark (former Rheo), The Slip, Mihirangi

Vieux Farka Toure

Los Campeisnos

Ron Sexsmith

Mother Mother

Ani DiFranco


The Slippery 12 Lane Highway Workshop

I did not expect Sudnay night to be my favorite musically of the weekend and yet it was the freshness and energy that indeed will make it the part that sticks out in my mind the most.


The One, The Only Dave Clark

I can not say enough about how good the Workshop with Dave Clark was. The Slip found an outlet to play through. Mihirangi is an female vocalist from New Zealand who puts all these wicked effects through her voice. And Dave Clark conducts the whole thing, using the crowd at times as his instrument. The result was magical.

Viena Farka Toure had great energy, even as mine was fading. Los Campesinos are Arts and Crafts new signing from Wales. I had the opportunity to encounter the lead singer twice on the weekend (once in "passing" and the next as he played cricket in his tighy whiteys) and it should have prepared me, but the group just blasted there fast super catchy synth-pop through the roof. A quick stop off at the main stage to hear Ron Sexsmith finish and we bounced off to see the next big surprise, Vancouver's Mother Mother. A triple attack of vocals and musical persicion made this a live treat and a weekend fave. See them soon! To finish, Ani DiFranco who managed to play three of the only things I would want to see from her, three songs in a row! Taking it as a sign, we cut early to beat the traffic.

OVERALL: My second Hillside, while lacking the big name punch of first (2005), yielded my festival experience of the summer and has left me re-energized to get out there and seek out more live music and not just wait till the old favs roll through town. Thanks to all my Hillsiders for graet adventures and fun!

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I enjoyed the fest too as much as I could. It was a bit soon coming back from my 'injury' and was pretty overwhelmed with the crowd at points but perservered and got to see most of what I had wanted to- The Slip playing was what sort of forced me not to pass. That said their set was I'd say passable and the 12 lane thing just sound like a really meandering jam to me but I was pretty straight and a bit weary with everything.

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