July 23, 2014

TURF Day 1: Band 4: Local Natives

LA band Local Natives are definitely crowd pleasers. They started off with the big single "Breakers" and proceeded to wow the crowd with their energetic and enthusiastically delivered tunes. In the spirit of independence and the Fourth of July the played "Warning Sign" by The Talking Heads song.
They played a cool setlist that served to enthral their fans while winning over some new fans, too. Check out some of the set highlights below. Overall, I found their set to be tons of fun!

"World News"

"Camera Talk"


"You & I"

"Wide Eyes"

"Heavy Feet"

"Who Knows Who Cares"

July 22, 2014

TURF Day 1: Band 3: Gary Clark Jr.

Gary Clark Jr. and his band were everything I knew they would be. They were the first band I caught on the main stage of the Toronto Urban Roots festival. I think it's the highest stage I ever photographed a band on. It was easily over six feet tall. It made getting good shots of the bassist, who liked to hang out at the back of the stage, quite difficult. 
Gary Clark Jr. and his band delivered virtuoso blues guitar playing and smooth vocals with a tight groove from the rhythm section. I won't throw out the comparisons you can probably make from the description I just gave. Check out some tunes below and listen to the passion and musicianship. This is the kind of music that does your soul good.

"Ain't Messin' Round"

"Don't Owe You A Thang"

"Bright Lights"

July 21, 2014

TURF Day 1: Band 2: Lucius

Lucius were the second band I saw on the South Stage at the second annual TURF festival. They hail from Brooklyn, New York, a place whose beauty I just discovered on vacation last week. I have to spend more time there in future.
The bright and fun sounds this band produce match their yellow dresses perfectly. To easy? Maybe so. Their beautiful harmonies and danceable tunes were a perfect match to the sunny day. Again, too easy? I think that everyone attending TURF this year were all just happy about the sunny weather and weekend forecast after last year's near washout. Wimp that I am, I only attended the one sunny day last year.
Lucius bring a lot of energy to their live show. The band are as entertaining to watch as they are to listen to. The rhythmic elements are strong with almost everyone getting in on the percussion. Overall, Lucius are a very fun live band and one that will certainly be expanding my music library.
Check out some of Lucius' lovely music:

"Turn it Around"

"Nothing Ordinary" from KEXP

"Don't Just Sit There"


"Go Home"

July 20, 2014

TURF Day 1: Band 1: London Souls

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday July 4, 5 and 6, The Toronto Urban Roots Festival took place at Toronto's Fort York / Garrison Common. It's the second year for this incredibly well curated and well run festival. It demonstrates the kind of world class festival that can be put on in this city and it's the kind of music event that Toronto needs to nurture to build us into an even better music destination. We need more music festivals within Toronto to build our music presence on the world stage.
This is rock and roll. It's dirty, it's impassioned, it's got groove and it rocks. As I mentioned in a tweet, London Souls was one of the bands I was looking forward to seeing on the South Stage of the Toronto Urban Roots Festival or TURF. As it turned out, they were the first band I saw at TURF. What a fantastic way to start off an amazing weekend of music in downtown Toronto.

London Souls are from NYC and site influences including Led Zeppelin, Cream, The Beatles and The Hollies. They play great, straight-up guitar rock with some blues and soul mixed in. It's all got grooves so wide you could like down in them and drown in feedback and distortion. These guys must have heated it up in The Horseshoe the previous night. Wish I had been there. One thing that these guys reminded me of is that I'm loving the fact that we seem to be getting guitar solos back after a long drought.
I would highly recommend checking these guys out by listening to the tunes below and by going to see them live if you get the chance. I know I'm anxiously awaiting their return to Toronto.

Here are some tunes:


"The Sound"

"Steady Are You Ready"

"Certain Appeal"

"Old Country Road"

July 7, 2014

I'm such a tease: TURF 2014

 This past weekend, July 4, 5 and 6 was the second annual TURF festival. The Toronto Urban Roots Festival took over Fort York in downtown Toronto with 3 days of musical joy. It's a super well run festival that attracts top acts and a very cool audience. There's music, of course, plus great food, a marketplace, and a kids' area. Fun for the whole family. We were all encouraged to write to our local city councillors to encourage more music festivals on city green spaces and I support this wholeheartedly.
As the title of this post says, this is a bit of a tease. I have some personal commitments to take care of, so I can't get to editing photos and writing posts for a couple of weeks, so I'll just start things off with a few pics of one of my favourite bands who played TURF, July Talk.
This band is magnetic. The on-stage chemistry between Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay, the songs, the musicianship; it all adds up to an incredible musical experience. Hope you enjoy the pics and will listen to some tunes, and that you'll still be with me when I return with posts on Local Natives, Gary Clark Jr, Black Joe Lewis, Deer Tick, Lucius, London Souls, Gaslight Anthem, Drive-By Truckers, Hey Rosetta!, Violent Femmes, Shovels & Rope, Joyce Manor, Old Man Markley, Caitlin Rose, Gogol Bordello, July Talk, Twin Forks, and Man Man.

"Summer Dress"

"The Garden"

"Paper Girl"