Photos by Katrina Lat & Janine Van Oostrom. Written by Mehek Seyid and Shannon Ruzgys.
It’s finally Wayhome time again and despite the lineup that left something to be desired and the lower attendance, we’re excited to be here. I started out the day at the main stage watching San Fermin. One of the first things I noticed was the lack of people in the crowd. There could not have been more than 200 people and this was at the main stage! But despite the low attendance San Fermin put on one hell of a show. Their unique array of instruments and stunning vocals are so unlike anything else you’ve ever seen. I’ll admit after seeing such a dismal crowd at the main stage I was not sure what to expect for the coming night. Yet when it was time for Phantogram the crowd started to pick up and again I found myself completely blown away by the show that they put on. With an array of hits and lesser known songs they kept the crowd captivated and kept bringing people in.
The emo renaissance could be en route, in part because of the stellar return of Dashboard Confessional. The Florida group, headed by singer Chris Carrabba, shared the best of their early days and teased new beginnings during their performance at the WayHome stage. Carrabba, full of levity throughout, guided the audience down the path of 2000s nostalgia with songs like “Stolen”, “Vindicated”, and “Screaming Infidelities” and covered Prince. He took a few moments to reflect on the political climate in the United States. “This man is a foul idiot,” he said of Donald Trump, a sentiment loosely echoing a statement Carrabba shared on Twitter regarding the ban of transgender personnel in the military. Encouraging fans to stick together in times like these, he introduced a new song called “We Fight”, a (pun unintended) punchy update of the Dashboard that we know and love. Teasing more tour dates in 2018, Chris and his bandmates wrapped the sunny evening with genre cornerstone “Hands Down”, which, to this day, is still one of the most essential songs your heart has ever needed.
Foster the People are a band that just about everyone who knows the slightest bit about indie music knows. They did not disappoint in the slightest, they blew my expectations out of the water. It didn’t matter whether they were playing their more popular songs or the ones off their new album, the crowd was loving every second. Then “Pumped Up Kicks” came on and I have never seen a crowd get so excited in my entire life. There was not a single person who did not know every single word.
After pumped up kicks the entire crowd disappeared and headed straight for Cage The Elephant. While it sucked having to leave Foster early, Cage was well worth it. Everyone has always told me how great of a live band they are but nothing could have prepared me for the show they put on. The energy that came from the stage was remarkable and it carried all the way throughout the crowd. “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” and “Cold Cold Cold” got everyone in the crowd on their feet and singing along.
Attending a Flume performance is like jumping through a vortex that leads you to a world that never stops spinning. The bass-heavy energy draws people in; the images of melting gargoyles and pink snakes twist and turn; and at some point, a giant display of cubes light up to awaken you from your dark slumber. Flume, headlining at the Wayhome stage, combines both visual cues and a range of electronica subgenres that ensures the ride never gets boring. A blend of triphop, electronica pop, and more wrapped songs like “Lose It” from Skin, hit “Never Be Like You”, and his career-turning remix of Lorde’s “Tennis Court”. Aaliyah samples echo into the night, lights pulsing from the stage, and a Pusha-T featured “Enough” makes the Australian DJ a hypnotizer behind his setup. The just-over-hour long set was a hyper escape in the chilly dead of the night. And the audience was more than ready to fly.
Wayhomies ran over to the WayBright stage to extend their electronica adventure with Justice. The French duo took the stage a bit later than their scheduled time, but wasted no time in looping in the crowd into their new age disco-dance fusion. From the opening of “Safe and Sound” of 2016’s Woman, blended seamlessly into fan favourite “D.A.N.C.E.”, it became all too obvious that familiarity with their music didn’t matter; only your willingness to move. Fortunately, there was no shortage of that, extending from the crowd all the way to the well-timed visuals that shifted to every pulsing beat.
Overall the first day set the bar very high for the rest of the weekend and we can’t wait to see what happens for the next couple days.