You know summer is on its way when bands start flooding into this dirty, dusty city.
But the upcoming music season gets a head start this year with Vivefest2. On April 17, seven bands overtake three stages at the Concordia Club for what promises to be a packed night of Canadian indie-rock jams.
“Vivefest2 is a celebration of music and debauchery,” said Phil Greer, one of the promoters behind Vive. “It’s not your ordinary show. With seven acts and plenty of people to drink and party with, this festival will leave you severely rattled — in a good way.”
For those who are unfamiliar with the Saskatoon promotional company, Vive has been putting on intimate concerts for the past couple of years. The shows are almost always held at unusual venues.
Over the last year, Vive shows have featured Sunset Rubdown, Octoberman, Torngat and Mowhawk Lodge, among numerous others, the majority of which included local bands.
“Local shows are definitely our focus, with about 40 to 60 of these produced every year at bars, halls, art galleries, cafes and homes. Vive mostly puts together folk shows, but we love stepping out to put on larger indie rock affairs,” explained Greer.
Last year saw a smaller version of the festival, with Library Voices and Azeda Booth playing the show. This year, the line-up has nearly doubled in size and the bands were chosen for their pop or noise flavour.
“We are exploring the connections between noise and dance-pop. There are a few sad-sack train wrecks thrown in the mix too. It wouldn’t be a Vive show without that. Look out for a whisky-drenched set by Edmonton’s Eamon McGrath and a loopy, down-in-the-mouth set by Halifax’s Paper Beat Scissors.”
Headlining the event are Jagjaguwar artists Women. Greer, for one, is foaming at the mouth over the opportunity to have Women on the bill. He expects Women’s set at Vivefest2, and their new record (set for release later this year), to blow people’s minds.
Joining the touring acts are local groups We Were Lovers, Jeanette Stewart and the Brodeo, Sexy Mathematics and Feral Children. In terms of content, Vive has always focused heavily on local acts and this year’s festival expands on that principle.
“It’s very important to Vive,” said Greer. “That’s why more than half of the acts at the festival are Saskatonians. In fact, the second headliner is Feral Children who are making waves across the interweb with their sideways psychedelia.”