Toronto – Day 2 of Virgin Festival did not get off to a great start. I woke up, it was raining and right away I was thinking ‘Oh Hell noes’. I started thinking about trekking across the mud filled fields of the island and immediately my thought was like ‘well, maybe I go later’. However, I did want to go see Sebastien Grainger, hence I hauled ass to the subway station.
In typical Azn fashion, I was (fashionably) late for everything I did and missed the set, which was a bummer (including interviewing the Pigeon Detectives). Day 2 was billed as the “British Invasion” of the V-Fest, filled with classic Brit acts like Paul Weller, Stereophonics, Pigeon Detectives and Oasis. The Kooks played saturday night – I guess they weren’t British enough. HA! I like British music, but man, sometimes the British masses really bother me. Any big UK show has the following:
- Lots of English flags
- Lots of Steven Gerrard jerseys (err.. he’s not that good)
- Lots of British lads mangrinding each other during songs they like
- Lots of people over using British slang (“you wanker!”, “mad fer it!”)
And I was not disappointed…but now onto the show. Gary reviewed Matt Costa and Moby, so I will skip those. I didn’t see any shows between Matt Costa and Stereophonics because the sky had just cleared up and I was too busy enjoying Mojitos.
Stereophonics – Nothing brings out the Welsh then a band from their home country. I always wonder if Scrabble releases a ‘welsh’ version of their game, since they probably need extra y’s and w’s and junk. Anyways, the lads from Stereophonics came out right on time and immediately started playing a song – I think it was ‘A Thousand Tree’s off the first album. Very inspirational lyrics:
Only takes one tree, to make a thousand matches
Only takes one match, to burn a thousand trees
I wonder if thats the theme song for pyros anonymous. The crowd was huge for Stereophonics, I am not sure whether it was because they wanted good view of Oasis later, or maybe there were that many people who liked Stereophonics. I really couldn’t tell. I will say that Kelly Jones and co did play a pretty solid set, going thru all their singles from the previous albums, including “The Bartender and the Thief”, “Mr. Writer”, “Have a Nice Day” and “Pick a part whats new”. I miss Stuart Cable on the drums…why they sacked him/let him leave, I don’t know. They closed off with “Local Boy in the Photograph” and “Dakota”. A very fitting set that left me satisfied. They pretty much played every song I wanted to listen to and yea, I would say it was a solid set.
Paul Weller – Next up was Paul Weller, just like Dylan was in 90210, I was torn in two..couldn’t decide – Paul Weller or Moby? Either way, its no Kelly or Brenda. Quickly doing some math, I figure Moby, in his younger age, healthier and cleaner lifestyle would live longer then Paul Weller and his smoking/drinking/mod way, and thus, there would be more opportunities to watch him again. So Paul Weller it was. Coming out dressed like he was ready for some Sunday Soho bingo, you can definitely say Paul Weller is getting up there in age. However, in a very British in the 60s way, he was absolutely on time and very professional. Started his set right away. For the next hour or slightly more, he proceeded to rip thru his solo repertoire, mainly ignoring Jam and Style Council stuff. Sure, once in awhile he would throw us a bone with “Shout to the Top” and “Town Called Malice” but c’mon man. We aren’t here to see Paul Weller stuff. He should know that. I was quite disappointed with the setlist, and the crowd seemed to agree with me as you didn’t see much excitement from anyone. I actually went to check out the end of the Moby set. It was okay. Overall, very disappointed (kinda expected) set from the Modfather.
Oasis – By now, it was clear to me and everyone else on planet Toronto that the people on the island, were here for the Gallagher boys from Manchester. By the time it reached 9:10, the crowd at the main stage was packed. ‘Fuckin in the Bushes’ soon blared over the speakers and the crowd went into a frenzy. The band came out on stage to a rapturous applause, posed, thank the crowd before launching into “Rock n Roll Star”. “Lyla” soon followed and everything was all good. Oasis was on top and everyone was happy and singing those oh so easy to sing rock tunes at the top of their lungs (except the new songs..) “Cigarettes and Alcohol”, “The Masterplan” and “Slide Away” followed.
Then it happened. Halfway thru “Whats the Story Morning Glory” some idiot gets on stage (from underneath !) shoves Noel and goes for Liam. All hell breaks lose. The crowd is STUNNED. I would say 90% of the people figure the show was over, and they just spent 90 bucks for half an hour of Oasis. Stunned. People were all like WTF and talking to other people. I have to say, to say thousands of people absolutely stunned – that’s priceless. Now I know how it felt to be in the crowd when Hulk Hogan turned on the good guys and joined the nWo. Priceless.
A few minutes later, Oasis popped back on to an enormous reaction and my respect for them jumped up 10 fold. Wonderwall, Supersonic and an accoustic Don’t Look Back in Anger (complete with audience sing along) occurred. However, Liam announced “this is our last song” right before I am the Walrus and that was that. Show ended at 10:38 (as oppose to 11) and there was no Champagne Supernova, no Acquiesence, no LIVE FOREVER. I guess that’s what we get for allowing some loser to run on stage.
All in all, a memorable day, potentially spoiled by some loser who decided to get his 15 minutes. In terms of V-Fest, this was definitely the most organized and produced one to day, and I can only see them polishing this show up next year, when they revive Britpop and Blur/Pulp/Suede co headling the festival, much to my delight.
Click Here for some V-Fest pictures, by Gary. Including some hotties in the Moby dance tents.