Photographs by Dwight Edwards.
On Thursday night, part one of this year’s three part Edgefest Summer Concert Series was anything but disappointing. Echo Beach’s intimate outdoor feel paired with the gorgeous weather and awesome music made it enjoyable on every level.
Each headlining act was unique, starting with the New York based X Ambassadors, who have had quite a summer so far. Between releasing their album, VHS, in June, touring across North America and their singer Sam Harris co-writing a single for Rihanna, I’m glad they made the time to stop in Toronto. You’ve probably heard their catchy song Renegades in the latest Jeep commercial or car-danced to it on your way to work, which was a crowd favourite. Harris was clearly born to perform and owned the stage – pulling out a sax was a great way to end the set.
American singer/songwriter Elle King is someone that I have been wanting to see live since I heard the song Playing for Keeps back in 2012, which to my excitement she did play mid-set. If we weren’t all impressed enough by how amazing the radio-hit Ex’s and Oh’s was live – we certainly were impressed by her honesty and humour on stage. I was informed at Edgefest that she is funny-man Rob Schneider’s daughter which explains her natural knack for comedy – but King showed a serious side as well, cheers-ing the audience “to being happy and to being yourself”. In addition to playing songs from her album Love Stuff, King covered the Beatle’s Oh! Darlingand Khia’s very uncensored version of My Neck, My Back which has ladies howling and Mom’s covering ears. I’ll be looking forward to seeing Elle King again when she returns to Toronto for sure.
Perhaps the most anticipated act, German folk-duo Milky Chance closed the night. Their electronic influence on an already complicated indie folk/pop style mesmerized the crowd. Crowd favourites of course included Down by the River and Stolen Dance from their album Sadnecessary. At only 22, I’m interested and excited to see what lies ahead for these guys.
If you missed part one of the Edgefest Summer Concert Series, you can catch Incubus headlining the main stage next Thursday, July 29th and Mother Mother on August 15th.