Concerts Concerts A Perfect Canada Day In The Park

A Perfect Canada Day In The Park

The Tragically Hip at Downsview Park
The Tragically Hip
Weezer, Broken Social Scene, Hey Rosetta!, Buck 65
Downsview Park in Toronto, ON
July 1, 2011

Review by: Lucas Samuels
Photos by: Amanda Fotes

Partying in Downsview Park with 25,000 of your closest Torontonian friends and some of the most talented bands in music today was the perfect way to spend a hot and sunny Canada Day.

The Tragically Hip

Seeing The Tragically Hip live is always an experience. Seeing The Tragically Hip live in Toronto is less about the music and more about the experience. Surrounded by friends and a great deal of strangers, I could barely even hear Gord Downie's throaty, mountain goat vocals over the fans around me who literally screamed the lyrics to virtually every song. That kind of thing is expected when you see The Hip in Toronto though. The band relied heavily on fan favourites including "Bobcaygeon" (which came with with thunderous cheers after "that night in Toronto" rang out over the crowd), "Fiddler's Green" and "Ahead By A Century". The Hip's set was fairly standard until they launched into the seldom played "New Orleans Is Sinking" > "Nautical Disaster" > "New Orleans Is Sinking" sandwich, a medley I had only heard on bootleg live recordings until Friday evening. The band catered to their loyal crowd who stood and sang for the entirety of the band's set. I paraded when our men's hockey team walked away from the Vancouver Olympics with gold medals in tow, and seeing The Hip in Toronto on Canada Day made me just as proud to be Canadian.

The Tragically Hip at Downsview Park   The Tragically Hip at Downsview Park   The Tragically Hip at Downsview Park   The Tragically Hip at Downsview Park   The Tragically Hip at Downsview Park   The Tragically Hip at Downsview Park   The Tragically Hip at Downsview Park   The Tragically Hip at Downsview Park  

Weezer

I was particularly excited to see Weezer live for the first time in all my concert-going years. They played a huge role in musical upbrining, as Weezer posters adorned my walls and blasted from my boom box as a junior high pre-teen. Having listened to the band quite seldom since those days, I was surprised to recognize and remember the lyrics of so many tunes. Most of the 20-something-year-olds around me looked to be enjoying themselves in the same nestaglic way. "My Name Is Jonas" still rocks harder than any new Weezer song ever could, and "Hash Pipe" is probably one of the best drug-related tunes to ever avoid censory on cable television. I was completely blown away when the band busted out their viral cover of Radiohead's "Paranoid Android" at the show. Played with precision and ferocity, the cover was spot on and just as impressive as the video version the band released. My fix had been satisfied by the end of their energetic set. I can now proudly cross Weezer off my nostalgic concert-bucket list.

Weezer at Downsview Park   Weezer at Downsview Park   Weezer at Downsview Park   Weezer at Downsview Park   Weezer at Downsview Park   Weezer at Downsview Park   Weezer at Downsview Park  

Broken Social Scene

Having attended the full family reunion show at Sound Academy earlier this year, I figured another reunion might occur for this large scale event. Sadly, I was mistaken, but thankfully, BSS still sound great, even without their famous ladies. Lisa Lobsinger holds her own during "7/4 Shoreline" and "KC Accidental" was as rocking as ever. The band even brought out Buck 65 for a cover of Beastie Boys' "Funky Boss". Something about seeing BSS run through a Beasties tunes while Kevin Drew and Andrew Whiteman adorned the blazer and shorts combo was completely bizarre, but maybe that was just the sun and beer taking its toll on me. Despite my ever-growing beer-induced dehydration, BSS played a tight set of rollicking tunes and finished strong with their epic instrumental "Meet Me In The Basement", easily one of the best songs the band has ever written. 

Broken Social Scene at Downsview Park   Broken Social Scene at Downsview Park   Broken Social Scene at Downsview Park   Broken Social Scene at Downsview Park   Broken Social Scene at Downsview Park   Broken Social Scene at Downsview Park   Broken Social Scene at Downsview Park   Broken Social Scene at Downsview Park  

Hey Rosetta!

I could hear the build-up of "Young Glass" as I passed through the field filled with cars on my way into the entrance of Downsview Park. I even managed to catch most of "Yer Spring" and "Yer Fall" (albeit from a distance) as I meandered my way through the sea of endless people and into the beer line. By the time I got settled on the cusp of the seated folk, right behind the beginning of the standing folk, Hey Rosetta! had more or less finished their brief set.

Hey Rosetta! at Downsview Park   Hey Rosetta! at Downsview Park   Hey Rosetta! at Downsview Park   Hey Rosetta! at Downsview Park   Hey Rosetta! at Downsview Park   Hey Rosetta! at Downsview Park   Hey Rosetta! at Downsview Park   Hey Rosetta! at Downsview Park  

Buck 65

Plenty of BBQing and beer drinking before the show prevented me from catching the lyric-slinging style of Buck 65. Maybe next year Buck. Maybe next year.

Buck 65 at Downsview Park   Buck 65 at Downsview Park   Buck 65 at Downsview Park   Buck 65 at Downsview Park