Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kaleido Festival: free music and a good time

This weekend we (Andrew and I) and a friend of ours went to the Kaleido Festival, an outdoor street festival held on 118th Ave. It was our friend who suggested it, she wanted to go see the closing band Dehli 2 Dublin and was rounding up friends to attend. Since I'm pretty much always up for live music (despite having never really heard the band--but had heard of) we decided to go. Thankfully the good weather we've been having continued into Saturday so we only needed a comfortable hoodie to keep us warm as the sun went down (apparently last year was rather cold and everyone huddled around the bonfire). A large stage was set up in what I think was a parking area, with several rows of bleachers arrange out in front.

We got there a little after 6:00 pm and caught the tail end of Joel Lavoie's performance. He's an acoustic guitarist in, what I'd be inclined to say is, a soft rock style. I certainly found it easy listening and enjoyed the performance. At this point there weren't a lot of people around, but the crowd was appreciative with a few people even getting up to dance. An 'in between act' filled in a few moments between Lavoie and the next act, the Secretaries. I forget what they were called, but they were meant to be a sort of incognito performance where one guy pretended to be a sound check guy, while a group member sitting in the audience started yelling at him for taking to long and holding up the show. It turned out there were maybe a dozen or so group members sitting in the audience and they all got up and joined in a rap about how everyone thinks they're a sound technician. It was funny, but went on a trifle long for my taste.

Although I'd never heard of the Secretaries, I rather enjoyed them (and as it turned out the parents of the lead singer were sitting in front of us). They were accompanied by the Brass Holes (2 trumpets and a tuba) who also turned out to be their back up dancers--it was quite hilarious. They mostly just sort of swayed back and forth 'Diana Ross and the Supremes'-style, but it was made the more amusing because it was three guys. They also occasionally played tambourine. The bass player and turned out to be Colleen Brown. I've never seen Colleen Brown before, but I'd certainly heard her played on the CBC. As with most music I listen to, I have no idea what the musicians actually look like. I tend to go to a lot of classical concerts, not rock/folk/jazz whatever concerts, so most of my favourite musicians could walk by me on the street and I'd have no idea. That's probably still the case for Colleen, even though I enjoyed her performance and valiant effort to continue singing even after swallowing a bug.

The follow act wasn't my favourite. It was some sort of fusion jazz. At one point Andrew and I got up and checked out a nearby bakery which turned out to be delicious (I got a slice of cheese cake, Andrew an eclaire). We did dance a bit during this performance since they were turning out good beats. The warm-up before Delhi-2-Dublin was a local Japanese-style drumming group called Kita No Taiko. As it turns out, one of the drummers is also a Firefly student and is taking a 3-night acrobatics course with us. She explained that the show as a bit weird for them, as they weren't expecting to be preforming outside, and then were required to preform on the space in front of the stage rather than on the stage (so that Delhi-2-Dublin could set up). We enjoyed their show anyway. The drumming is quite energetic with lots of dancing around, switching drums and deadly precision.

The last act was Delhi-2-Dublin and by this time the concert area was packed. As the deejay introduced them, people were filling the aisle to get into the dance area at the front then flooded the space when the band came on. Delhi-2-Dublin is a Vancouver based band, made up of 5 members (4 guys, 1 girl), performing on a range of instruments that include guitar, sitar, violin/fiddle, 2 types of ethnic drums (the names I've forgotten), one guy handles sound mixing, and one guy does the lead singing. As you might guess, they have an eclectic sound that probably most profoundly borrows from Celtic and Indian music. They were super fun and super energetic. I'd wanted to dance, but when I saw the crowd go for the dance floor I was momentarily disappointed. This didn't last long since pretty much everyone in the rows in front of us also stood up to dance--problem solved. The played for seventy-five minutes pretty much none stop. There were a couple of slower songs in the middle where not all the band was required so the unused members slipped off for a quick break.

All-in-all a good show, and a pretty good night.



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