Step On magazine’s WayHome Music & Arts Festival guide makes sure you have the most fun, see the best bands, on the greatest stages, and miss nothing! Part Two.
The second day of the WayHome Music & Arts festival falls on Saturday July 25th. The headliner is the ruler of all things hip-hop! King Kendrick will make his first appearance in Oro Medonte (I didn’t look that up but I’m going to go ahead and say that’s most likely the case).
Nobody is going to miss that performance, but what about the rest of the day?
WHO TO SEE DAY 2: Saturday July 25th
The Lone Bellow [WayHome Stage]
“The Lone Bellow began as a song writing project for Zach Williams, whose wife had suffered temporary paralysis following a horseback riding accident. During his wife’s recovery, Williams coped with the experience by writing in a journal. At the urging of his friends, Williams learned how to play the guitar and turned his journal entries into songs. Following his wife’s recovery, the couple moved to New York City in order to pursue their creative endeavours.”
Art that is bred from a tale as touching as that one is bound to be beautiful. The Lone Bellow is a must for country music fans. Their live performances are receiving rave reviews around the world; often claiming that they “sound better than the actual record”.
The chemistry and vocal harmonies of lead vocalists Williams and Kanene Pipkin will not disappoint.
Toronto jangle-pop outfit “Alvvays” inundated the latter half of 2014 with a number of singles from their self-titled debut album.
“Marry Me Archie” was one of the most fun indie-pop hits of last year; here is your chance to see what this refreshing new band can offer up when it takes to the WayBright stage.
They’ve been touring the UK and Europe forever so I suggest you support them on home soil.
Now you have two choices: either take a break and get whatever you may need before the five o’clock set begins OR jaunt on over to the main stage to listen to Manchester Orchestra.
Manchester Orchestra [WayHome]
Manchester Orchestra have been at it for over a decade. They’re a sure thing on the festival circuit. They have a thousand hit songs and a very personable on-stage presence. They had one of the performances of the festival at least year’s Lollapalooza; they deserve to be on this main stage and you deserve to see them!
The Rural Alberta Advantage [WayBright]
Having little to do with Alberta, but a lot to do with the Canadian music scene, RRA played their first show by accident at the long lost Cabbagetown venue The Winchester in 2004.
Since that night they have been honing their original sound and putting out records on independent Canadian record labels such as Saddle Creek and Paper Bag respectively.
Their songs translate well in an open, outdoor venue, as they are known for their mastery of acoustic instruments and soaring vocals.
If you still need convincing, listen to “North Star” off the album Departures.
Run The Jewels [WayHome]
The duo of emcees Killer Mike and El-P known as Run The Jewels are the first hip-hop duo to take on the WayHome stage. This is a short set, but one that promises to be as intense as anything the festival has offered up to this point.
The duo formed in 2003 and the release of their second album RTJ2 is still creating a lot of buzz. The record was on everyone’s album of the year list in 2014 and deservedly so.
If you’re a fan of didactic, progressive lyrical hip-hop you will love what Run The Jewels bring to the table. Saturday should be billed as the day of speedy rhymes and heavy beats so get your ears ready for what is in store.
Danny Brown [WayBright]
Instead of worrying about the short-lived Run The Jewels set, treat it as a multi stage double-bill with all-around gangsta Danny Brown.
Danny Brown is not for everyone. I can admit that. For some, it may be best to stay put over on the WayHome stage for Modest Mouse (7:30-8:45) in order to be up front and arranged for King Kendrick.
However, for those whose love Danny (his avid fan-base should be recognized here) and those who don’t, but think they might need a little DB in their life-the eccentric, gap-toothed, MDMA advocate will bring a stimulating punk-rock esthetic to his rapid-fire hip-hop flow.
People who listen to Danny Brown for the first time usually react in one of two ways: a subtle bobbing of the head coupled with an apprehensive yet intriguing squint of the eyes- or-an abrupt burst of
“what in the fuck is this?”
Danny Brown is not a gimmick.
He is an artist that possesses an incredible breadth of musical knowledge that is evident in his music and live performances.
If he were in fact a ridiculous farce, do you think the likes of Freddie Gibbs, A-Trak, Alchemist, E-40, Ghostface Killah, School Boy Q and ASAP Rocky would do business with the man?
Danny Brown’s catalogue is mighty, and it hits a lot of different notes and styles; find out which tone of Danny Brown works for you, educate yourself and enjoy the show (or just get turnt and jump around).
For those who are longing for a little something new after bouncing between the WayHome and WayBright stages all day, step up to the WayAway platform and check out some more Canadian content in the form of noise-rock trio METZ.
METZ is the answer for those who aren’t down with checking out the second half of the Modest Mouse set and staying put for Kendrick Lamar.
The interesting thing about METZ is that the band is touring behind a 2015 release (METZ II). The majority of the festival circuit is made up of artists supporting efforts from 2014, but METZ offer you a chance to hear new music on a smaller stage.
This is the perfect performance for people who tend toward the intimate and lesser-known acts as opposed to the at times hectic main stage antics.
KENDRICK LAMAR [WayHome]
Timber Timbre [WayAway]
Slow the night down with singer songwriters Timber Timbre from Montreal Quebec, Canada. They have been producing, recording and performing in the Canadian independent music scene since 2005 and I am glad to see them getting a chance to perform at this festival.
The band work extremely hard to satisfy their fans and their live shows come complete; no one else in this time slot compare to these guys.
ODESZA should be your choice to round out day two; congratulations are in order for those who make it to this show as that would mark a commendable eleven hours of festival-ing.
Good on ya!
Saturday is much more of a hip-hop centered event, as opposed to an electronic one; but don’t let that ring entirely true. The electronic duo will make sure those who haven’t danced themselves to the brink of exhaustion will be able to do so as they provide the melodic backdrop for you to dance well in to the evening.
The final day of the festival provides the most eclectic lineup of artists thus far. It’s clear from the selection of performers that the WayHome organizers want to ensure there is a little something for everyone during the ceremonious final day.
Here are my picks for day three:
WHO TO SEE DAY 3: Sunday July 26th
Lost Cousins [WayBold]
Day three opens with four brilliant bands: Sloan (Toronto/Halifax), Amos The Transparent (Ottawa), Evening Hymns (Toronto) and Lost Cousins (Kingston).
Deciding between these artists was my toughest call of the entire festival, but in the end I’ve elected to go with Kingston indie rockers Lost Cousins.
The band is currently in the midst of a cross-Canada tour (You can find shows listed here http://findlostcousinsband.com/) and it would be a shame if anyone missed them open the final day of the festival.
Lost Cousins debut EP Not Now What We Were is chock-full of fine-sounding harmonies and song writing that is not to be ignored. The refreshing melodies stand out in a heavily saturated genre.
The Sheepdogs [WayHome]
It’s boogie-rock time! Three-time Juno award winners The Sheepdogs, representing scenic Saskatchewan, will be proffering a seventy-five minute set complete with hits from their platinum selling self-titled debut record.
The winners of Rolling Stone’s “Choose the Cover” competition have been relatively quiet since bursting on to the scene in 2011 but continue to leave it all on the stage after each and every performance.
The band is back in the studio and has released a single from their upcoming album Future Nostalgia, so expect to here some cuts from that one as well.
Anne Erin Clark better known as St.Vincent will follow The Sheepdogs on the main stage.
Anne Clark is a brilliant musician, songwriter and performer.
She and David Byrne released an album together it is incredible.
Her self-titled 2014 release was the undisputed record of the year.
She is an unorthodox, multi-instrumentalist treasure.
The only blemish on the entire WayHome schedule is the fact that they haven’t chosen St.Vincent to close the festival. The show must go on, regardless of time-slot.
Please don’t miss this one!
Cold War Kids [WayBright]
Rising from relative obscurity to undeniable fame, Cold War Kids have been given a chance to wow audiences on day three.
Their most recent album Hold My Home received rave reviews, most notably from Exclaim! who heralded the new lineup and unique vocal variations on the record.
Cold War Kids have performed at every music festival known to the beasts of Earth, and as a result are pretty damn good at it.
Vance Joy [WayBright]
Vance Joy’s massive 2014 hit “Riptide” went triple-platinum in Australia and rocketed him to the forefront of popular music; however, there is much more to the man than that one track.
Mr.Keogh has been touring in support of his debut record, serenading fans of his own, as well as those who have come to see him open for global superstar Taylor Swift.
Vance Joy’s charming vocals and expertly plucked ukulele will provide the audience with a change to fully enjoy their final ‘sunset set’ of the festival.
FESTIVAL HEADLINER ALERT
Sam Smith [WayHome]
This one is a no brainer. Ladies and gentleman, the final act of the 2015 WayHome Music & Arts Festival: Sam Smith.
The soulful twenty three year old has won every music related accolade there is. After featuring on Disclosure’s hit song “Latch” he has carried on to receive all manner of well-deserved fame.
You’re likely to hear the same set list performed on his In the Lonely Hour tour, the very same tour that sold a commendable twenty five thousand seats for his Toronto and Montreal shows earlier this year.
The young man is a consummate professional and the chance to see such a talent this early in his career is a blessing.
The folks at WayHome have delivered with a safe, yet talented choice to close out the event.
Guide written by Jordan Chevalier. Jordan can be reached at email@example.com (yes, Hotmail). Follow Jordan on Twitter at @Jcheval and read his contributions for Step On Magazine at @StepOnMagTO; he also welcomes submissions of all shapes and sizes for publication on his poetry blog SYNAPSE.
WayHome’s official site and more information including full schedule here.