July 8, 2013

TURF: Matt Mays

The Toronto Urban Roots Festival, or TURF for short, is a 4-day music festival in downtown Toronto. For its first year, they had a really good line up of artists including She & Him, Camera Obscura, Arkells, Fitz and the Tantrums, Hannah Georgas, The Felice Brothers, Skydiggers, The Wooden Sky, The Sadies, Yo La Tengo, Whitehorse, Cat Empire, Neko Case and Belle & Sebastian to name a few. There was also a club portion with live performances at The Horseshoe and Lee's Palace each night.

I only attended Day 3 and saw Dawes, Matt Mays, Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, The Lowest of the Low, The Hold Steady and Flogging Molly. I found it to be an amazing experience. The festival was well organized, easy to get around and had a good variety of food and drink options including great food trucks, plentiful beer gardens and free water. There was a kids area, too. The VIP option was well worth the upgrade. I think I would attend more festivals if they were all this well run and had such well organized VIP options. I do wonder how close to capacity they were, and whether the manageable crowd levels were by design or not. Hopefully, TURF was profitable and will become an annual tradition on the Toronto concert calendar.
I had seen Matt Mays' name around quite a bit, but never listened to his music until I was checking out the TURF line-up. He plays great, soulful rock music that was a perfect complement to the third day of TURF. Mays is from down east; Nova Scotia to be exact. He and his band put on an energetic set that surely saw me added to his list of fans.

Check out a couple of great tunes from his latest release Coyote.


"Take it on Faith"

The pictures in this post are mine.