WayHome Day 3

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Day 3 was simply too hot to take in all of the early afternoon shows. I woke up feeling like my brain was actually cooking due to our tents being under direct sunlight. Camping provided little opportunity for good sleep and physical recharging. I had planned to catch the Sheepdogs but I just couldn’t do it. I did manage to make it to Brave Shores under the WayBold stage and what a show it was. Praise jesus the stage was shaded because the dancing that ensues at a Brave Shores show could have proved too much in the sun. I managed to capture a quick video but in no way is it an accurate representation of how great their set was, but it’s better than nothing. I’m still a new fan of these guys but I’m glad to have had the opportunity to discover a little more. Seeing them means I missed July Talk yet again, but their time for me will come.

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Next, we headed to Cold War Kids. I’ve been dying to see them for ages. I have been a fan for a while now and was so excited to hear my favourites in the flesh. The highlights for me were definitely Miracle Mile and First, but their entire set was a treat for the ears. Again, seeing them means I missed Broods and HIGHS, but what can you do. My friends managed to catch HIGHS and took a few videos so at least I can confirm their set was a smashing success.

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We hit up the main stage for St. Vincent and Brandon Flowers. I’ll be honest, I’d never been a huge fan of either but in person they definitely killed it. St. Vincent was so quirky that it was quite entertaining to watch, and Brandon Flowers had the whole crowd on their feet. He threw in some Killers classics so there were enough familiar tunes to sing along to. I danced the entire time and would definitely see him again.

Luckily, I had a chance to catch Vance Joy for the third time in the past year. I can’t say enough about how amazing he is. His voice is amazing and he has a way of commanding a massive audience while playing acoustic ballads that is so impressive. I will take every opportunity I have to see him and I hope I never miss a show when he’s in town. As always, Riptide blew the crowd away. Since I’ve seen him twice already and he’s only released one album, it was really great to hear some new material. I’m a big fan of Fire and the Flood and can’t wait to hear what’s next.

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Vance Joy, the love of my life

There’s no better way to end an amazing festival than with a beautiful voice so full of love like Sam Smith’s. Every time he told the story behind one of his songs I could feel his passion so strongly that I felt like I had experienced all of those emotions myself. There are few artists capable of giving me goosebumps and I had them throughout his entire set. The combination of his beautifully tragic lyrics, soulful voice and my own sadness over the festival coming to a close had me near tears the entire time. I realize that sounds so cheesy but I know some members of my crew actually did cry so that makes me feel a little better for being so taken by his performance. He deserves every award he’s ever gotten and then some. My favourites were Latch, Money on my Mind, Nirvana and of course, Stay With Me. I’m so happy he’s become as successful as he is today and that I’ve had the chance to experience it in person. Sam Smith, and this entire festival, was an experience I know I’ll never forget.

WayHome Day 2

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I missed so many shows on day 2 in an attempt to stick with my squad. With no phone battery and very little sense of direction, I found it super tough to keep track of everyone and opted to wait it out until everyone was ready to go. On the list of shows I sadly missed were The Beaches, Alvvays, SZA, Django Django and Rural Alberta Advantage. I’ve already seen The Beaches so that wasn’t extremely upsetting, but I was most heartbroken to have missed Django Django. Lesson learned!

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The crew preparing for another crazy day

My day kicked off with Run the Jewels and I was thoroughly impressed. These guys put on a great show. The energy was through the roof and they definitely earned their spot on the main stage. They knew they were going to kill it which is probably why they warned the crowd to put away all selfie sticks and other precious valuables before they broke in to Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck). These were wise words because everyone was on their feet for this one.

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A little rain shower for Run the Jewels

Next, I caught Danny Brown for the second time. I have said it before, Danny Brown is my guilty pleasure. I am well aware that his voice is a bit like nails on a chalk board but his tunes are hits in my book. That being said, the first time I caught him live I realized this was not something I needed to see in the flesh. People get crazy for Danny so the show is a bit like a circus act full of outrageously dressed white kids but I did not need to catch it twice. I should have gone to Django Django instead but fear of winding up alone all day had the best of me and I opted to stick with my squad.

I continued the rap fest with G-Eazy and was not disappointed. The stage was smaller but the crowd was surprisingly large. It seems like he’s about to hit it big. I owe my blog’s namesake to G-Eazy so I’d say it was about time I caught him in the flesh. The high points for me were Let’s Get Lost and You Got Me. Also, I managed to make it up on the big screen for this show… so kewl.

I’ve been dying for a chance to talk about how much I loved Kendrick Lamar. I’ve been a fan of his for years now. I went through a minor obsession when he released good Kid, m.A.A.d city and again for To Pimp A Butterfly. This blog is no stranger to Kendrick tunes. I have such an appreciation for him as an artist because he takes controversial messages and turns them in to songs that are different from the rest yet accessible enough that I can listen to them on repeat without getting bored. My sister and I bonded over our love for Money Trees and it was a really special moment for me to catch it live. There were so many highs during his show I’m finding it hard to decide where to start. Every tune was better than the last. The other ones that probably stood out the most for me were King Kunta, Bitch, Don’t Kill My VibeFuckin’ Problems, Backseat Freestyle and We Gon’ Be Alright. This show was one of few I could have cried over because I was so excited to see. I never wanted it to end! The only letdown was that I was extremely excited to hear The Blacker the Berry and didn’t get to, but there’s always next time. When all of your songs are hits it must be hard to fit them all in…

Probably the second most exciting show of the weekend for me was Odesza. I realize that I have raved about Odesza a thousand times on this blog but I just can’t get enough. It’s impossible for me not to dance endlessly as soon as I hit play on any Odesza tune and the energy was even better live and under the summer stars. I actually ditched my crew for this show cause it was one of those intimate experiences for me despite being amongst a huge crowd. There isn’t a single Odesza tune I don’t love, nor is there one I’ve ever gotten even remotely sick of. There were no highs because the entire show was consistently amazing. If you’re looking to get in to Odesza I’d recommend starting with Say My Name or Sun Models, but really any song is a safe bet because they are all amazing. If you haven’t experienced them in the flesh this is something you absolutely need to add to your bucket list.

WayHome Day 1

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For my crew, Day 1 was a bit of a shitshow. We started off the day with quite a few beverages which led to us separating almost instantly upon entering the grounds. I planned to see Lowell but only made it in time to catch The Bells. I didn’t see much, but what I did see I enjoyed. I refuse to make that mistake again!

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Before the beverages got the best of me

I split from the rest and joined another crew in time to catch Bear Mountain. I don’t recall much as this was probably my most messed up point but I do remember thinking the singer’s voice was crazy unique. The vibe was perfect for an outdoor party in the grass. The electronic elements are upbeat enough the keep your energy up while roasting in the midsummer heat but the vocals keep it from being too overwhelming. I’d definitely love to catch Bear Mountain again in a better state of mind.

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Afterwards, we headed to the Decemberists. I don’t have too much to say other than that the pace was definitely a slower one. I don’t want to say anything if it’s not positive because I’m more of a music fan than a critic. I can appreciate that these guys have talent but it wasn’t my favourite show, though I’m certainly not opposed to giving them another shot. This was probably the saddest part of my day because I missed Slow Magic. I’d been excited to see Slow Magic for weeks but that’s often how festivals go. Overlapping shows are the unfortunate reality.

Luckily, Sylvan Esso managed to lift my spirits again. I was completely blown away. The songs are so unique. I’ve had Coffee stuck in my head for what feels like months and to finally see it in the flesh was such a treat! This felt different than any show I’d seen in ages. The music had a relaxing feeling to it which was complimented perfectly by the singer’s laid back aesthetic, yet I danced the entire time. I can’t wait to see Sylvan Esso again in what is hopefully a much longer and more intimate setting.

Unfortunately, I did have to cut my time with Sylvan Esso a tad short to catch Hozier but I was floored by his performance as well. There was never any doubt in my mind that he had an amazingly powerful voice which was a thousand times more intense in the flesh. What did surprise me was how fun and light-hearted he came across despite the somewhat heavy nature and sadness in his songs. He even did a cover of an Ariana Grande song that was a nice little change of pace. As expected, the crowd blew up for Take Me to Church. Even though that song has been totally played out on the radio I still couldn’t wait to hear it.

My squad was most excited for Alt-J and most of us managed to reconnect. This was where I’d say I felt totally in my element; shoes off, drink in hand and dancing like a fool in the grass. My personal favourites were Hunger of the Pine and Tessellate i, but the crowd definitely came together for Left Hand Free and Breezeblocks. The visuals were stunning and the pace was perfect for an evening show.

I can’t believe I’m admitting this but I couldn’t stick it out for all of Neil Young. I caught a few songs but he had a three hour set and I crashed early on. This is why you should pace yourself at events like this. I was too tired and couldn’t hack it… I’m sure I will deeply regret this later in life.

I headed back to my site to recoup before Kaytranada. I’d seen him before at Osheaga and knew this was one I didn’t want to miss. He played a ton of songs I’ve never heard which was super exciting. He seemed pretty excited to play for the WayHome crowd and his time slot was ideal. There were so many people at his set that I have no doubt this will earn him plenty of new fans. Because there were so many songs I’d never heard and still can’t manage to find online I’m going to have to say my favourite was Leave Me Alone, which has been a regular on my playlist for ages.

We went straight from Kaytranada to Girl Talk to keep the party going. I don’t know how to describe this other than that it’s like the most well-executed house party playlist. Because the set consisted mainly of mash-ups it definitely got the crowd going and singing along. It was like one massive dance party. I am endlessly jealous of those that managed to get up near the front because that would have been a night to remember.

A lot of these songs aren’t on SoundCloud, but here’s the best I could do for a Day 1 playlist:

WayHome Festival Review

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What better way to commemorate the one year anniversary of lastnightwascinematic’s birth than with a review of an amazing summer fest? I’m attempting to cure my WayHome withdrawals by reviewing and recapping entire experience.

Overall, I’d have to say that the festival organizers did an amazing job putting together WayHome Festival. The marketing for WayHome was perfect, from the cryptic advertisements to the mysterious event at the Great Hall announcing the festival officially for the first time. Obviously, I am devastated I didn’t make it out to the event and receive LIFETIME passes, I can’t deny that it was a great idea. All of the mystery definitely had me on the edge of my seat but it was the lineup that really sold me. The lineup was similar to most North American festivals this summer which says a lot considering it’s the first year and they were able to land huge headliners (Kendrick Lamar, Sam Smith, Alt-J, Hozier, Brandon Flowers, etc.); however, WayHome unleashed a huge game changer with Neil Young and Promise of the Real. That power move was key in drawing a different sort of crowd that often gets neglected with the typical fest lineup. Even after I bought my wristband I was still soaking in all the hype as they released more and more details about the grounds and events. Organizers knew what they were doing in promising attendees a unique experience. The etsy market, food trucks (and catering by the Drake if you were a millionaire and could afford it) and various art displays promised to make it the ultimate treat for all of your senses. Also, having camping on the festival grounds included when you bought your wristband made it a great value. As amazing as Osheaga was for me in 2014, paying for travel and board set me back a few extra bucks.

When I arrived at the festival with my crew the entry process was seamless. The lineup to get searched and get in was pretty much nonexistent. This was a huge surprise because we were expecting the worst. Granted, we did arrive at a reasonable time the day before the festival and beat most of the traffic on the way in. Camp sites were small with zero shelter from the sun but we managed to get five spots together so we made it work with few issues. The camp atmosphere is unlike any other. Everyone parties like they’re still in first year. We even managed to hit up a rave outside one of the RVs that was as busy as a bar downtown and open way longer. Cell service and batteries were minimal so it was tough to meet up with friends who arrived at a different time but that’s to be expected.

The festival itself was fairly hard to navigate compared to the others I’ve been to but the stages were big enough that you could just follow the music if you didn’t have a map. Most of the employees were pretty clueless so it was pointless to try and ask for directions, but I always managed to get where I needed to be. This is a good point to mention that the festival app was pretty decent. The schedule was updated often enough and included a decent map, so if you managed to conserve enough battery on your phone to check it, you’d always be in the know. Organizers did a great job of mixing up stages and times to get some good variety in genres. They did put the big name electronic music later at night but that’s generally the time of day when most festival-goers were most off their faces and in the right frame of mind to enjoy it. The lineup wasn’t overloaded with electronic music either which is nice cause that often draws in the worst crowd. Obviously, there was plenty of sex and barf after dark as you’d find at any fest but not enough to make me want to claw my eyes out. As long as you’re expectations weren’t outrageous and you came prepared for long days and crazy nights it would be nearly impossible not to have a blast at WayHome.

There were only a few minor changes I’d suggest. There need to be way more phone charging stations, water filling stations, clean toilets and shady spaces. Beyond that, I’d consider it an overwhelming success. I’ll definitely be returning for years to come!

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All in- Classless Kids

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For the millionth time, I LOVE Flume! I wrote a little postie on another blog called Classless Kids summarizing in a few short paragraphs just how much I am in awe of his talent. Check it out here:

http://www.classlesskids.com/post/ck_all_in_

Here’s another gem from the man himself for you to enjoy this sunny Saturday:

Julianne Bernard

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I have this super amazing friend with a truly beautiful voice and a gift for songwriting. Julianne Bernard just might be the most humble person I’ve ever met. Sensitive Soul is the perfect showcase of her talents and it deserves to be heard. Being so completely honest and unapologetic yet saying it with such grace is a beautiful thing. This is the perfect song to get you to the next stage when you’ve had a low moment and you need a little strength. Give it a listen, you won’t regret it.

So Classic EP

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The weekend is fast approaching. For me, that means heading back to the grind with two back-to-back closing shifts at a busy Toronto bar but for most people my age it’s time to get cray. If I were partying this weekend I know exactly what would be blasting through my speakers, the So Classic EP by The Knocks. These two are the kings of sexy. They kick things off with Dancing with Myself, which I have already raved about, before moving on to my new favourite pregame track. It’s impossible not to dance your ass off to Time. It feels like a throwback to the disco era in the best way. Collect My Love offers similar vibes, but Classic really brings it home. This was the song of the summer for me and I’m still not sick of it. It speaks volumes that The Knocks have created a track with that kind of staying power. The anticipation of a full length album just might kill me!

Lay Me Down Remixed

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I’ve been MIA for way too long. It’s been a hectic month between my work schedules and some personal drama. I hid from blogging for a minute because I was a little to emo to write which is a ridiculous excuse but sometimes it’s too tough to be honest with yourself. I post the songs that describe how I feel and I preferred to ignore how I was feeling for the past few weeks. That can’t be healthy.

The time has come to get back at it and I’m choosing a remix, done by one of my favourite artists, of a song by another one of my favourite artists. Flume remixed Sam Smith’s Lay Me Down and it’s beautiful. Sam Smith has a knack for emotional ballads that hit you where it hurts. Lay Me Down is no exception. I could have drowned in an ocean of heartache with Sam Smith as the soundtrack to my demise this month, but that’s not how I do it. When times are tough I prefer to listen to songs that will improve my mood and that’s where Flume comes in. He took this delicious stew of feelings that is Lay Me Down and gave it an electronic injection that makes it the perfect balance between feels and dancey vibes. This song was everything I needed lately. I owe a lot to these two.

King Kunta

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Kendrick Lamar proves to us all once again just how talented he is. With a completely different vibe than Blacker the Berry, you can use King Kunta to add some much needed funk to your playlist. I can guarantee you that his one will blow up. I was so wrapped up in the beat that I had to give it a few listens to really hear the lyrics, but I’m glad I did. Those were some fighting words. Kendrick took a stab at some other artists (without calling anyone out directly) and makes it pretty damned clear just how important originality is. I’m on his side for this one. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a stale playlist is my nightmare and I can rely on Kendrick to keep it interesting. To Pimp A Butterfly is one of the most talked about albums so far this year and it’s pretty clear why.

The video looks like a throwback to the rap videos of yesteryear without the cheese factor. The pace is fast enough to keep it interesting despite it’s lack of a plot. I’m not complaining about watching four minutes of Kendrick Lamar run shit in Compton. He premiered the video in Times Square which seems like a great way to get people talking and it definitely worked. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to see what he does next.

Life is Better Blonde

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I can’t think of a more perfect song to post today that Mine by Life is Better Blonde. This song is most certainly unique and there are few things I enjoy more than a tune that shakes things up. A stale playlist may as well be my biggest nightmare. I’m hearing a little Chet Faker in the soulful vocals but the melody is totally in it’s own realm. It should come as no surprise that Australia is responsible for this gem because it seems nearly every song I fall for comes from the land down under.

I’ve opted to post the video because it was a treat to watch. The acting was on point despite being a music video with no dialogue from the actors. I want to give this man a hug. Also, there are few things that seem more infuriating than assembling a tiny fucking burger and I definitely felt frustrated just watching this vid. Music videos that make you feel something, whatever that emotion may be, are a success in my eyes.

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