Thursday, July 30, 2015

Interstellar Rodeo: Day Two July 25th 2015

For day two of Interstellar my partner Janis and our friend Erin headed down to Hawrelak early as I wanted to catch the first band of the day, so it was off to the park around noon. A long day of music and beers were in store for me.

Line-up for Saturday...

Noon Gates Open
1:00 NQ Arbuckle
2:10 Justin Townes Earle
3:05 Colleen Brown
3:45 Rhiannon Giddens
4:45 Mike McDonald
5:25 Elle King
6:25 Jay Nowicki
7:05 Tanya Tagaq
8:00 Ryan Boldt
8:45 Father John Misty

First band of the day was NQ Arbuckle from Toronto. This was my second time seeing them perform having seen them play a free show at Permanent Records last year. NQ Arbuckle play a roots/country style of music and are on Six Shooter Records. Their set was good, what caught me off guard were the two cover songs they did, the songs being Jr. Gone Wild's "Downtime" from their Simple Little Wish album. They then later in the set did a countrified version of Motorhead's "Ace Of Spades". A great set to open Saturday's events.

NQ Arbuckle.

Next up was Justin Townes Earle who was one of the artists that made me really want to get tickets for this festival. Justin being the son of Steve Earle, whom I am a huge fan of. I have listened to Justin's albums and have always tried hard to really like them but they just haven't struck a nerve with me, but I just had a feeling live he would be much better, and I was right. His set was a highlight of the weekend for me (one of many). His hour long set was excellent, gave me a whole new lookout of him as an artist.

Justin Townes Earle.

Next artist I saw was Rhiannon Giddens. To be honest I had no idea who she was when I first saw her name in this years line-up. After looking her up on the net, and then hearing a few songs CKUA, I got to learn that she is or was the lead singer of a band from North Carolina called the Carolina Chocolate Drops. What I had heard of her stuff, didn't do much for me, but after seeing her perform at Interstellar, I can now say I thought her solo set was excellent. The lady has got an incredible voice, plays banjo and violin and her old style country was very captivating, easy on the eyes too. Another great set from an artist I wasn't familiar with.

Rhiannon Giddens.

Between sets of the main bands was an interlude set by Mike McDonald of Jr. Gone Wild fame, who also has a successful solo career going on right now with the release of his excellent live album "Live At The Blue Chair Café" that came out this year. I have been following his career over the past five years or so and have become a huge fan of his solo music and his Jr. Gone Wild music. I have also got to know Mike a bit through his record store that he owned in Edmonton. A great guy that puts out quality music. His set was excellent as always.

Mike McDonald.

Next up was another artist that I was very interested in seeing play live. That would be Elle King (real name being Tanner Elle Schneider) who is the daughter of comedian Rob Schneider. I have been listening to her album "Love Stuff" which I have really enjoyed so I was looking forward to her performance. And she didn't disappoint at all, another one of my favorite acts of the weekend. Her rocking blues music was perfect for this time slot after some country acts and such. She rocked the hell out of the venue with some attitude. Loved her set.

Elle King.

After Elle, it was time for Tanya Tagaq. Tanya is an artist from Nunavut, Canada, way up north. I had read an interesting article about her a few days before the festival and thought she might be cool to see. Tanya is what they call a throat singer, whatever the hell that means. But I was willing to check her out, well after about ten minutes I had heard more then enough and it was off for a few beers and smokes outside. Not my thing at all. Apparently lots of people were moved by her performance, me not being one of them. Just sounded like weird fuckin' noise to me. And I love Awful!!!

Tanya Taraq.

Next up was the headliner of the evening Father John Misty. Real name Joshua Tillman (I sense a theme here with all these artists going by stage names this year). Father John Misty was a member of the Seattle Band The Fleet Foxes at one time. This was yet another artists where I have listened to his two solo albums and didn't really think much of them. But wow, live they were incredible. Their style of music is a variety of folk, pop, psychedelic and experimental. It definitely works in a live performance. I thought he and his band were excellent. Kind of reminded me of a mix of Polyphonic Spree and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, yet have their own thing going on for sure. And like Janis and Erin who I went to the show with said, the ladies think he has a major sex appeal too, a mix between Robert Plant and Jim Morrison. I guess he has it all going on Mr. Father John Misty. Another stand out act of the weekend.

Father John Misty.

Well, I was hoping to get day three done here soon, but I am off to see more shows. So the re-cap of day three will have to wait for a bit. Good times!!!

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