The only show where I actually saw a lineup for a band outside a venue was probably for the smallest (in terms of name recognition), which just goes to show you that a venue packed with friends and family. Birds of Bellwoods are probably the only band to get more famous off of not playing a gig, than playing one. Last year the band was set to play the fest but after doing a charity show they got kicked off the bill. News spread like wildfire about the ridiculousness of their radius clause prompting the festival to remove it. Since they were removed a year ago they have grown exponentially. The band has released several high profile music videos and recently won a professional industry judged contest to earn a slot at this year’s Boots and Hearts country festival at Burl’s Creek in August.
The band brought their trademark wit and sarcasm to the stage. It was the first time it was played live in front of people and lead singer Stevie Joffe remarked how it went surprisingly well. While most of the set was all fun and games, they did slow it down for the hauntingly beautiful Grey Ghosts. They told the crowd they were going to do a cover of a popular Canadian artist that guitarist Adrian Morningstar got our hopes up by saying it was Drake, when in reality we had to settle for a glorious rendition of Neil Young’s Harvest Moon.
The set went surprisingly fast, something that seems to happen when you are having fun. Joffe pointed out a girl who was dancing her heart out and encouraged the crowd to all do the same. The last song they played was one called Cannibal, which featured impressive vocal screams from Joffe and Chris Blades who normally plays the banjo busted out a trumpet for a solo. The only complaint about the show was Kintaro Akiyama’s bass was so quiet I could barely hear his playing even though I was right in the front, which is a real shame since he is quite the player.