Concert Reviews

Gogol Bordello with Sloan, Pocket Dwellers, Broadway Draws at Riverfest Elora – Day 3

The third and final day of Riverfest Elora brought the heat, and kicked off at the crack of noon with an awesome performance from the Fergus Pipe Band. The band included a Celtic cover of “We Will Rock You” along with some classic bagpipe music. The performance definitely woke people up if they hadn’t been already and the band looked like they were happy to be there, playing the first set of the day. 

Broadway Draws, a local folk-rock band from Elora brought out a solid crowd full of fans and supporters to the tent stage. Their vintage aesthetic and blues-influenced musical style set the tone for a Sunday afternoon, playing original tracks such as “Forgive my Deeds”, “Honey”, and “The Guarantees”. 

In contrast to the laid back styling of Broadway Draws, the next show I caught was the incredibly energetic performance from My Son The Hurricane. The funk group, backed by a 14-piece brass band brought the main-stage crowd to its feet with tracks such as “Smile” and “Smoke and Mirrors”. Later on in the performance, USS’s Ash Buchholtz joined the group for the track he is featured on, “Pigeon Park”. I’m sure fans could’ve expected an appearance from the USS front man, as they were to perform later on in the afternoon as well. 

Another notable performance came from Pocket Dwellers, a Toronto-based that fuses hip-hop with jazz and funk influences. The group played a set with a full audience, and lots of support from their family in the front row. A couple of the band members’ kids had piled in to get the best view of their dads. Overall, the set was groovy, with a duo on the saxophones really bringing home the show. 

Later on in the afternoon Canadian legends, Sloan took to the stage. The audience was filled with fans singing along to some of the group’s hits such as “The Rest of my Life” and “The Other Man”, but even those who weren’t familiar with the band were enjoying every minute of it. For a group that has been together for over 25 years, it was clear the way they worked together on stage had become so natural. Overall, I must say it was one of my favourite performances of the weekend and I do hope I get the chance to see the group play again. 

And just like that, it was time to close off the festival with a final performance from none other than Gogol Bordello. Prior to this performance I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but when each member entered the stage with a huge smile on their face, jumping with energy and enthusiasm, I knew everyone in the audience was going to have a blast. The front man, Eugene Hütz came out with such style and pizazz, every move he made was meaningful and the crowd’s eyes locked on him. The group’s music, described as gypsy-punk, incorporated the strong vocals and acoustic guitar from the front man as well as an interesting mix of the accordion and violin accents creating an Eastern European punk rock sound. Gogol Bordello’s show was an excellent way to end off another memorable Riverfest, with an upbeat performance and an audience that got to finish off the weekend with a bang. 

A big shout out goes to all the Riverfest Elora organizers and volunteers, who made the weekend run so smoothly. I can’t wait to see what next year will bring. 

About author

Erin is a recent Communications graduate living outside of Toronto. She is an arts and entertainment enthusiast with a particular passion for music.