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photos by Zach Pollack, words by Parker Langvardt
Nardwuar w/ Andrew WK // Reigning Sound
We started the second night of the festival at National Music Centre, catching about a song and a half of a Vancouver band called Beekeeper. Their enthusiastic frontman invited the audience on stage for the last song, which began with a Latin rhythm and eventually took a turn toward psychedelic punk.
Next was We Are The City of Kelowna, British Columbia. Their set was rhythmic and dynamic, touching on many different genres like jazz, math rock, blues and R&B. They also brought some glitchy drumming into a new, keyboard-oriented song that they played. It was less conventional than the rest of their set, but still fit in well.
When Nardwuar took the stage with his band The Evaporators, he asked for more vocals in the monitor and then asked the audience, "Monitors. What does that remind you of?" After some responses from the audience, he went through a weird little association game with Titus Andronicus ("Tittus Andromedus" and other mispronunciations), who got their name from the boat that fought the Monitor in the Civil War. In Nardwuar's words, "A plus B equals C!" He mentioned up former New York governor Mario Cuomo and a Canadian gas station called Domo to start a chant of "Mario Cuomo works at Domo," which developed into the first song with a quick keyboard part from Nardwuar and a continuous drum beat. The second song started with some bizarre sumo grunts and jumps, which he made several audience members do with him until they formed a weird grunting conga line of sorts. They covered "Barney Rubble is My Double" by a Calgary band called The Hot Nasties, and performed an original song about blowing up a rock in a river called "Ripple Rock." The Evaporators simple pop-punk is made hilarious by Nardwuar's actions, weird inflections, and ridiculous choruses. He asked the audience to suspend him in the air, lying face down with a helmet on, with more fans holding his keyboard in front of him. When he asked for one more guy to help him out, he was joined by Sled Island co-curator Andrew W.K., who performed "Party Hard" with The Evaporators along with several other songs.
We made our way over to Republik, where we caught the end of Sled Island veterans Legs' set. Vocalist Allie Sheldan sang strongly with a raspy voice over some western-sounding guitar. They ended with a somber bluesy song called "I've Got a Sadness in My Heart."
Next was a Winnipeg powerpop duo called Cannon Bros, who had a touch of garage rock in their sound. Then we caught the upbeat pop rock of Calgary quartet Feel Alright, who blended reverby surf pop with a country edge. And then finally, a much anticipated set from Reigning Sound, whose rock and roll vibes made for a killer show.
Afterwards, we ventured over to Dickens to catch Hot Snakes, but after waiting in line for a half hour they declined to let anyone else in the venue for the sold-out show. Hot Snakes played Orion Fest in Atlantic City a few days later.
More pictures from Sled Island day 2 are below. Coverage of day 3 is coming soon...
We Are the City