Review: Calgary Sun;Jesse Locke

Posted by on 3 August 2007

Scorching Folk Fest artists match weather


Scorching Folk Fest artists match weather

Special to Sun Media


July 28, 2007  

The weather on Day 2 of the Folk Fest was definitely hotter than Day 1, but the artists backed it up with some scorching performances.


Jon-Rae and The River were the band I had been most looking forward to seeing, and its set at the small Sunterra stage did not disappoint.

The Toronto six-piece opened with Time And Effort and then melded into their smashing cover of Townes Van Zandt’s Two Hands, which had the crowd singing and hollering.

Backup vocalist Anne Rust D’eye sounded amazing, and was decked out in a ridiculous sky blue velour suit, with heels.

Frontman Jon-Rae Fletcher belted it out in the all-or-nothing style for which he’s known.

The best part of this group is their voices, and the highlight of the set came when all instruments dropped out during Best Of My Time, and the entire band shouted out the chorus.

Owen Pallet (aka Final Fantasy) was wildly impressive as well, with his self-described six-song “appetizer” set.

Adding layer upon layer to his violin and voice with a set of effects pedals, Pallet’s live show is an entirely different beast than his recorded output.

This Is The Dream Of Win And Regine, his tribute to the two front-members of the Arcade Fire, was the highlight. I’ll be at his main set July 28 for sure, and probably his non-folk fest show when he comes back to Calgary in a few months, as well.

The Squirrel Nut Zippers’ cutesy horn-driven pop was interesting, but I couldn’t keep my eyes off the masses of “earth dancing” the band brought out.

This term, coined by a friend at last year’s Folk Fest, describes the style of body movements made by middle-aged women, often wearing tie-dye dresses and flowers in their hair, and almost always in bare feet.

The earth dance itself is somewhat similar to the circular arm and hand twisting of rave dancing, but much slower and never in time with the music. It’s most commonly witnessed at folk festivals, or anywhere aging hippies come to feel the good vibrations, man.

After watching the earth dancers do their thing for a good 15 minutes, I moseyed over to the food tents.

Sure, it’s all overpriced, but the Caribbean veggie combo that I settled on was delicious. Just thought I’d put that out there.

Day 2 finished off with well-received sets from Hawksley Workman and red-headed alt-country chanteuse Neko Case.

All in all, another successful day.