MattyFest Review: Jennifer Castle, Young Guv, METZ, Danny Brown, Standing On The Corner, Descendents, Wu Tang Clan, September 7, Echo Beach


Going back to the days of hardcore shows in the basement of his old restaurant Parts & Labour, chef Matty Matheson has always tried to combine his passions for both food and music. While both the restaurant and its basement concert venue have since closed, Matheson has continued to combine the two and taken things to the next level with the first edition of Mattyfest, a day long outdoor festival that continues on the tradition of birthday parties/shows that Matheson has thrown for himself in the past. And for the first edition of Mattyfest at Echo Beach, Matheson attracted an impressive lineup of talent both local and international alongside some of the best restaurants in town for a festival that was as much about the food as it was the music.

After taking in a bit of Luna Li and a bit of Ruby Waters, the first set that I was able to devote my full attention to (after devoting my attention to a Matty’s Pattys burger) was Jennifer Castle’s mid-afternoon set on the mainstage. While a set of folk/country/rock tunes about death may not exactly scream party time, Castle and her excellent band The Angels of Death ran through a set of songs from the album of the same name that definitely got the afternoon off to a good start. From there I made my way over to the smaller Matty Stage to check out Young Guv. The band, led by Fucked Up guitarist Ben Cook, ran through a energetic set that gave me some definite ’90s flashbacks and made for one of the highlights of the whole day. Cook took the opportunity a couple of times during the set to give a shout out to his mom, who was attending one of his gigs for the first time. I guess you don’t have the opportunity to play too many mom-friendly shows when you’ve spent most of your career playing in hardcore bands.

After some typically energetic sets on the mainstage from local noise rockers METZ and Detroit rapper Danny Brown (who noted that he couldn’t jump around too much during his set because there was “too much good food here” – he wasn’t wrong), I took in one of the more unique sets of the entire festival, a performance from New York’s Standing On The Corner, who offered up plenty of jazzy, experimental sounds that made for a rather compelling sonic journey throughout.

While the day’s lineup was full of great performances, the biggest draws for many were of course the final two acts of the night – Descendents and Wu Tang Clan.

For their headining set, Wu Tang Clan took the time to show Toronto some love, giving shout outs to the championship Raptors team as well as Bianca Andreescu (who I believe was referred to as “that tennis chick who won today”) and also taking a minute to plug Raekwon’s new store that just opened up in Toronto. While it’s never a given that the whole crew will show up for a Wu Tang show, we were in fact treated to the full Wu Tang Clan experience on this evening with all of the members in attendance – they even had the son of the late ODB filling in for his father and absolutely doing him justice. Wu Tang definitely did, as the song says, “Bring Da Ruckus”, running through hit after hit over the course of the evening, even including some snippets of hits from the Beatles and Nirvana because why the hell not?

During their set shortly before Wu Tang closed things out, Descendents rather appropriately dedicated the songs “Wienerschnitzel” and “I Like Food” to Matheson and really, there could be no better anthem for the entire festival that the latter, with its refrain of “I Like food/Food tastes good” summing up the theme of the day quite nicely.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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