June 11 & 12
By Connor Young
Bestival is a two day wonderland of music and arts in Woodbine Park, Toronto. Connor attended this year and gives you his run down on performance by Jamie XX, Tame Impala, Grimes, The Cure, and more!
This year’s Bestival day one began for me with Jamie XX’s set. By the time I arrived at Bestival there were a few people starting to crowd around the stage. That meant I was able to get close to Jamie XX without having to wade through people. He walked out in a white collared shirt and sunglasses and approached his turntables.
I was a huge fan of last year’s In Colour so I was very excited to see this set. He started out with a beat and over the next few minutes started to bring in Romy’s chorus from the song Loud Places over top of it. The song never seemed to materialize though, just was teased for a few moments. Most of this DJ set was like this just mixing various sounds together, including One Dance by Drake.
At the very end of his performance he started to bring in some of the elements of Gosh. Right as he was about to play the song all of the power went out. The speakers crackled and the screens failed putting an end to Jamie XX.
After some techs ran around on stage plugging things back in, Jamie XX returned to the stage and finished playing Gosh to a very enthusiastic crowd.
Next up was Odesza. The two members walked out and took to their desks. They played huge floor toms while their electronic tracks played in the background. At some points they brought out horns and guitar, which was a nice touch that added a human element to their electronic sound. The crowd loved them and when the beat dropped and the pyro technics started going everyone was dancing.
Tame Impala Setlist
2. Let It Happen
3. Mind Mischief
4. Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind
5. Why Won’t They Talk To Me
6. The Moment
8. The Less I Know The Better
9. Daffodils (Mark Ronson Cover)
11. Alter Ego
12. Apocalypse Dream
1. Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
2. New Person, Same Old Mistakes
Night one came to an end with one of the ultimate psych bands, Tame Impala. I saw Tame Impala last year at Massey Hall and it was a great show so I knew I was going to enjoy their set. What I didn’t know was how much better a band could get within one year. The crowd went absolutely insane as Nangs played over the loud speakers and crazy visuals coated the screen. The band walked on stage and after playing along to the synths of Nangs, they immediately dropped into Let it Happen. The rest of their set was very Currents heavy but featured some songs from Innerspeaker and Lonerism. Notable songs being Alter Ego, Why Won’t They Talk to Me, and Mind Mischief.
Usually Tame Impala doesn’t move around too much on stage and kind of keep to themselves. This wasn't the case this time around. They ripped through song after song with a passion as Kevin Parker ran around on stage. At one point a beach ball landed on the stage. Parker kicked it back into the enthusiastic crowd with a huge smile on his face before going back to his guitar.
Their set ended with the magnificent Apocalypse Dream. The entire ending portion of this song is absolutely insane to see live. The synths sounded huge, the drum fills epic. The visuals went from a cool looking Oscilloscope to wild flashing colours melting across the screen and spinning. The band was called back out for an encore where they played two more songs. Feels Like We Only Go Backwards and New Person, Same Old Mistakes. They walked off stage having played an absolutely amazing set. If you get the chance to see Tame Impala you jump for it. These guys are a master of their craft.
Day two started out a little bit different than day one. The sun wasn't as bright, it was windier and the crowd wasn't at all the same. You could tell there were a lot more older people and less of the usual festival goers you’d usually see at a show like this.
Daughter was the first band I saw and they played and excellent set. I’d briefly heard them before seeing them so I had a good idea of what to expect. Their mellow sound was great with the sort of cloudy weather and you could tell people were getting into it. I’d like to see them again, but a full set instead of in a festival atmosphere.
Grimes then took the stage. I’ve seen quite a few strange bands, but Grimes was up there for her strangeness. It made for a hugely entertaining show. She ran around on stage with her backup dancers making bizarre movements with her arms and yelling “Brap” into the mic. Her lights looked very impressive, it was just two bright out to tell, resulting in Grimes telling the crowd “That was awkward, usually we fade out to darkness there, but everyone could see me”.
The Cure Setlist
2. Kyoto Song
3. A Night Like This
4. The Walk
6. In Between Days
7. Pictures of You
11. Just Like Heaven
13. The Perfect Girl
14. The Caterpillar
15. Sleep When I’m Dead
16. If Only Tonight We Can Sleep
17. Prayers For Rain
One of my all time favourite bands was up next, The Cure. They walked onstage to the a prerecorded intro before playing the epic song Open. The hits just kept coming, Pictures of You, In Between Days, Lovesong, Just Like Heaven etc.
About an hour into their set though some audio problems became apparent. During two of the songs you could hear crackling and instruments dropped out. All you could hear was the kick drum and Robert Smiths vocals. Bassist Simon Gallup looked very upset. To be fair a concert of this size for a headliner at a festival should not be having any audio problems. The Cure soldiered on though and continued to play an amazing set.
About an hour and a half in they played End and walked off stage. They then returned for their first of three encores, briefly walking off between each encore. The first one featured them playing A Forest. At the end of A Forest, Robert Smith and Simon Gallup played off of each other with just their guitar and bass solo, getting more intense and intense. Eventually the whole band dropped back in to a huge extended outro to an amazing song.
The next encore was Wrong Number which was a very fun song. The night culminated towards the next five songs afterwards. The group played through Hot Hot Hot!!!, Let’s Go to Bed, Close to Me, Why Can’t I Be You and finished with a little bit slower, almost somber version of Boys Don’t Cry. The band walked off stage saying how on their next tour Toronto is planned to be their first stop.
Overall the weekend was fantastic with a few sound and visual issues here and there. It was worth the price of admission just to see that Tame Impala set and having The Cure as well pushed it to the top of my all time favourites. I couldn't recommend Tame Impala or The Cure more.