So this past weekend marked the start of the Sound of Music Festival with their 2nd Annual Kick Off Party. The weather was hot, the beer was cold and the fans came out to support an amazing day of Rock & Roll.
The day kicked off at 1:30 with Stratford, Ontario natives Chemical Burn kicking off the action at the TD BANK Main Stage. The boys know how to play there is no doubt about that. With some killer guitar riffs and some vocals they were pretty solid opener.
Next up around 2pm was Burlington’s own Silverstein. The local boys have made their way up the ranks from playing basements & community centres to main stages at global festivals. Now these fellas know how to blow up a stage. And for their Sound of Music set it was just another stage that they were able to ravage for a 30 min. And ravage they did.
Following Silverstein at 3pm was one of my personal favourites bands from Winnipeg that I can remember seeing numerous times in the 90’s The Watchmen. Daniel and the boys took to the stage for an hour long set that included all the hits All Uncovered, Stereo and my personal favourite Run & Hide. I can recall seeing these guys about 6 or 7 years ago at a reunion show at the Horseshow Tavern in Toronto and thinking back then how cool it would be to see them play the festival circuit again. They did not disappoint on this HOT Saturday afternoon. With sweat dripping from the faces of the entire band you could tell they were happy to be back in Burlington.
We took a bit of breather for about an hour to allow the folks to grab some shade and some ice cold beverages. But when we were right back at it, it Michigan based rockers Pop Evil to hammer kick off the 2nd part of the day. And OMG they were epic! Seriously, for a band I had never seen before they impressed. Heavy and Loud Pop Evil rocked the stage. With the crowd starting to fill the park you could see the fellas in the band were feeding off the audience throughout the set. If you love your music heavy I would strongly suggest you see Pop Evil.
Next up, one of Canada’s hottest young rock bands The Glorious Sons. With multiple #top 10 songs on rock radio I have have listened to these guys for a little over a year now. Taking on a hot and sweaty crowd at #SOM2016 I have to say theses guys know how to bring it. The way that lead singer Brett Emmons works the stage is how I believe most lead singers should. Working the crowd in his bare feet on what I would assume to be a very warm stage due to the hot sun beating down on it all afternoon. However, I don’t think it mattered much as Emmons wasn’t in one spot long enough to feel the stage under his feet. With singles like White Noise, Lighting & Heavy filling the set you could tell the audience was eating it up. One hell of a set from this band there is no doubt about that.
Then it was time…
Headstones hit the stage and didn’t take their foot off the pedal for 60 min. Seriously, Hugh and the boys just tore the a strip off the SOM stage. And the crowd loved ever fuckin’ second of it. I find it appropriate to use that type of language when talking about the Headstones. Because if you have ever seen this band LIVE, that word describes a good chunk of the show. From watching Tim White ROCK the bass the entire time and I mean this guy might be one of the meanest looking bass playin’ S.O.B’s I have ever seen grace the stage and he just nails it every night. Hugh came out with his mirror aviator style glass looking the part of bad ass lead singer of one of Canada’s best hardcore rockin’ bands. With no disrespect to the Cult the Canadian audience was dying for more of the Headstones that night.
A one hour set could have easily been a 1.5 and the crowd would have still been begging for more. The way that Hugh takes on the audience and feeds off their energy is just amazing to watch. A true entertainer there is no doubt about that. I love how he got right down in the crowd and and at one point climbed on top of one of the speakers to get a better look at the sea of people taking in his fine performance. I know I had written about the Headstones a couple months back but seriously this was another performance for the books. And can’t wait to see the Headstones on the children’s book tour later this fall… (Ok Joking about the children book tour but watch for some new tour dates coming soon)
Tough act to follow there is no doubt about that but if there was one rock band that could do it. The Cult is definitely one of those bands. With hits like She Sells Sanctuary, Fire Woman and Love Removal Machine you knew it was gonna be a hell of a show. Ian Astbury isn’t your big flashy front man that is playing it up for the crowd he is the type of front man that just puts it out there. Sings his ass off and leaves it all on the stage. Seeing the UK Band play the 2nd Annual Kick off Party was pretty epic. I remember asking a fan as we were walking out of the park what the highlight of the night for them was. Her response was “that seeing Ian Astbury rockin’ the stage was the icing on the cake for an amazing day of music”.
And that it was. One hell of a day to kick of one of Canada’s best music festivals. This is put on by some amazing volunteers and without the fans and artists support they couldn’t put together such great lineups every year. The Kick Off Party is a paid ticket. But starting THURSDAY JUNE 16th the free festival kicks off and you can check out the complete schedule HERE.