Concerts Concerts Kicking off Festival Season With CBC Music at Echo Beach

Kicking off Festival Season With CBC Music at Echo Beach

Of Monsters and Men at CBC Music Festival
CBCMusic.ca Festival

Echo Beach in Toronto, ON
May 25, 2013

Review by: Chad Hutchings
Photos by: Julie Lavelle

A couple of weekends ago, Echo Beach played host to the inaugural CBCMusic.ca Festival, a clumsy-titled, day-long celebration of the spirit of modern Canadian music.

Stretched out on two stages spanning on either end of Echo Beach, some pretty great acts found their way to Toronto on the 25th and offered up their best from noon to nightfall for live performances that were sent streaming on cbcmusic.ca, enabling Toronto's newest festival to reach every nook and cranny across the country (and across the world, when it comes down to it).

As you'd expect from CBC, those acts were all sorts of radio-friendly and, while they crossed a few different (yet closely related) genres, there was something inherently Canadian about the whole affair, both in the bands chosen and the kindly, reservedly-jovial air of the event (and even in the weather, that dipped to frigid by the time evening overtook the beach). Of course, this didn't come about accidentally by some underlying nature of the organizers, and even Jian Ghomeshi (one of the CBC hosts acting as presenters) alluded in no small way to the effort made to reflect Canada's musical identity through the festival. Even the sound and presentation from the sole foreign act seemed to go hand in hand with what we'd expect from a festival organized by a staple of Canadiana - specifically the much buzzed-about Icelandic outfit Of Monsters and Men, whose powerful-yet-polite music, gentle ways, and wind battered rearing could have them on a fasttrack to a collection of Canadian green cards.

Of course, we can only speak on acts from the latter half of the day since, in a fit of decidedly impolite behaviour, our coverage didn't begin with the first act... or the second, or third. And so, a flurry of great artists were seen by thousands of eyes besides ours, and we can only assume they were as good as we'd expect (or as bad as we just might hope, since bailing on good fun isn't really on our list of to-do's). What we did see, though, we were glad to be a part of. Photo documentation below will surely have you a) reliving the great times you saw, or b) kicking yourself for missing out. Either way, great Canadian acts like Sam Roberts Band, Sloan, Half Moon Run, and heaps more kept half of the crowd on their feet while the other half lounged comfortably in their lawn chairs and nodded their heads inoffensively to the beats.

A load could be said about each performance, and a load should be said about them, I suppose, but the real success of the day came in the execution of the festival as a whole. The CBC Music Festival was brought to life in the spirit of bringing broader accessibility to Canadian music in the city and across the country, and to further foster what the broadcasting company believes makes Canadian music great. And, while the scope of genres represented were a little narrower than what the country truly has to offer, the complementary sounds, the strong performances, and the "day by the lake" feel sent a very satisfied audience home hoping for a CBC Music Fest 2014.

Sloan

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Elisapie

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Kathleen Edwards

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Half Moon Run

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Of Monsters and Men

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Sam Roberts Band

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