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Virgin Music Festival, Toronto Canada - Day 1 Print E-mail
User Rating: / 0
Contributed by Chimera   
Sep 16, 2007 at 04:43 PM
Review: Virgin Music Festival, Toronto Canada - Day 1 (09-08-07)

Virgin Music Ends Summer With Concert Bliss

The expectations were high upon the arrival of the Virgin Music Festival to Toronto. This was the second year the Festival pulled into the city and The list of bands read like a menu at a fine dining restaurant. The first day promised excellent shows from the likes of: k-os, Arctic Monkeys, The Most Serene Republic, Matt Costa, Interpol, Bjork, etc. The bar was set high and a weekend of good tunage was well looked forward to by all.

The logistics of the festival went like this, the festival grounds itself was held on an island...Centre Island to be exact. So in order to get to and from the venue you have to board a ferry, have a nice ride over the lake and then land onto the grounds of holy virgin music. Not only was there a bag check onto the ferry, there was another bag check before entering the grounds...what could you possibly confiscate from the ferry to the front gate? Tuck the emergency ferry axe perhaps? Let me tell you, getting there wasn't bad, it was getting off that was hell, which parallels the mass exodus of what would be parking lot hell.

So you're in...congrats. Prepare for a land of candy corporatism and music giveaways. You heard me, F-R-E-E, free stuff! What would a music festival be nowadays without the support from your friendly neighbourhood corporates who want a chunk of today's music business. To be honest, I didn't mind, hawking free stuff from corporations who steal your hard earned money everyday was the least one could do. Everywhere you walked there was a booth of "come here!", "grab this!", "win stuff!". Free gum, perfume samples, people walking around in weird costumes and a couple of walking bushels of leaves...it felt like you were on a circus ground...not far from it actually.

The sun was shining, the heat was on, and it was a perfect day for music. There were four stages to choose from: the main Virgin Mobile Stage, the Future Shop Stage, the Budweiser Stage, and the B-Live Stage. The big acts were on the main stage of course, the indie bands graced the Future Shop Stage (who also hosted an autograph tent), the smaller vergening artists played on the Bud Stage, and the DJs and funky artists mixed the B-Live tent.

I have to interject here and admit that I spent most of my day waiting at the autograph tent because my friend wanted to wait to get autographs from Interpol. As a nice friend, I ingraciated her need for celebrity and waited in line as well. I figured, while I'm here, I might as well get an autograph from Matt Costa and support lesser known talent. His line was somewhat close to pathetic, though still long enough to signal support. I got my autograph and a nice little chat and inquired why Broken Social Scene wasn't on the roster and went back into the ever growing Interpol line. Well let's just say two hours later, and I mean they were late, only two-fifths of the band showed up and not very grateful at that. So needless to say I was pissed that I wasted my time. So we mosey over to the main stage to catch some actual music.

I managed to salvage whatever was left of the day to catch the Arctic Monkeys who came on with not much hoopla. They rocked fine, but didn't really rock that hard. They played some news songs and a few of their older songs. Arctic Monkeys are great to just have fun jumping up and down too, but to be honest, I wasn't blown away with their performance. One of the interesting things I noticed about the crowd was that there was a plethora of parents who brought their children with them, and I'm talking from babies to tweens. Who are these parents and how come they weren't mine? I only wish I was graced with the gift of concert so early in my development.

7:30pm rolls around and we get Interpol who after a horrid and utterly disappointing autograph session showed up with all members on stage and playing all their hits. Again, as with the Arctic Monkeys, they weren't bad, but not great. They laid down Heinrich Maneuver from their new album, but unfortunately Paul Banks, the lead, wasn't all their because he missed some lyrics. "Slow Hands" and "C'mere" made it into their set. And then they walk off. The big show of the evening had to go to Björk. It's been four years since she performed and three years since she's released a new album and it felt like she was ready to come back to music life. As expected the show was huge, with lasers, a huge horn section/choir, colourful costumes and set, lights and pyros and one kick ass set of pipes from Ms. Björk herself. She pumped out hits like "Hunter" and "Army of Me" and she also featured some tracks from her new album "Volta". Björk puts on a good show, no doubt, and it was a great cap to the first day of the Virgin Music Festival. Now to face the horror of getting off the island...


-Overall Rating: [A]

-Sound and Acoustics: [B-] (For outdoor it was pretty good.)

-Ambience: [A] (Outdoor festivals are always fun.)

-Lighting and Effects: [B+] (Björk made it pretty at night with lasers.)

-Security: [A-] (Double bag check? For real?)

-Price and Merchandise: [C] ($30 for a shirt, but then $5 for fries? What gives?

-An island of music: Priceless, for everything else be sure to bring something to sit on.

Written and Reviewed By: Kay (Chimera)
CrystalOne Radio
Last Updated ( Sep 16, 2007 at 05:59 PM )
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