Thursday, August 14, 2014
Day three of Interstellar Rodeo was held on Monday, as Friday's events were cancelled due to shitty weather. While they had to switch up the original line-up that was scheduled for Friday, it was nice to see that the organizers of this festival were able to pull it off. Friday's acts Sinner, Trampled By Turtles and Blackie and The Rodeo Kings weren't able to play Monday. Corb Lund was able to come back for the Monday show and Tom Wilson of Blackie, was able to stick around for Monday's show. The organizers were able to book Great Lake Swimmers and Hey Rosetta! as replacement acts.
Because of work on Monday, I missed openers Great Lake Swimmers. I did get there in time to catch Newfoundland band Hey Rosetta!, this was my second time seeing them play, and again, not really a fan.
Next up was Tom Wilson, whom was supposed to play on Friday with his band Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, but because the other members in the band had prior commitments, Tom played solo on Monday. Tom Wilson used to play in 90's band Junkhouse, as well he plays in, as mentioned Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and Lee Harvey Osmond.
I hadn't seen Tom Wilson in concert since his days in Junkhouse. I was looking forward to seeing Blackie, but the solo show he put on this night made up for that. Tom played an hour long set and put on one hell of a show. Playing some old Junkhouse tunes, some Blackie songs and even some Lee Harvey Osmond songs, and, even doing a Lou Reed song. A strong set by a great musician. A great opener for Corb Lund.
Some footage I shot at the show.
Headliner of the night was Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans. Nice to see Corb and the band make it back to Edmonton for the Monday night performance, without them committing to the Monday show, I am thinking the Interstellar would have only been a two day event. But Corb made it back after doing a show in Montana the night before.
The city of Edmonton even declared Monday July 28th Corb Lund day. This was my tenth time seeing Corb Lund in concert, and yet again another awesome show put on by Corb and his band. They had a great turnout for the show, considering it was a Monday night, but the weather was beautiful and who wouldn't wanna see Corb Lund play an outdoor show in his old hometown. Corb Lund is currently pushing his newest album called "Counterfeit Blues" which was recorded in Memphis, Tennessee at the famous Sun Studios. It a lot like a best of album, with him and his band recording live from the floor and mostly tunes from his albums "Five Dollar Bill" and "Hair In My Eyes Like A Highland Steer". At the show on this night though, he played tunes from almost all his album's, including some old ones from Modern Pain, even doing a Stompin' Tom cover of The Hockey Song. A great show. And it was really cool to run into a few old friends at the show, made it even more special. Good times!!!
A big shout out has to go to the organizers of this awesome festival for pulling off the Monday show, and to Corb Lund for going out of his way to play the make-up show. Keep up the good work Six Shooter Records.
Corb Lund and The Hurtin' Albertans.
Sunday, August 10, 2014
Day two of the Interstellar Rodeo Fest was the day I was really looking forward to, with a great line-up and beautiful weather, this was shaping up to be a good day. The bands I was looking forward to seeing included The Hold Steady, Jason Isbell and Gord Downie, The Sadies & The Conquering Sun.
Again Janis, Erin and I got there early so that we could catch the first band. First band of the day was locals Jeff Stuart & The Hearts. This was the second time I have seen them play live. While they were alright, I didn't think they were anything special, and from the response from the crowd, neither did anyone else. Next to no one on the dance floor for them.
Jeff Stuart & The Hearts.
Next up was a band from Brooklyn, New York called The Lone Bellow. I had never heard of the band before, but wow, they sure won the crowd over with their performance. Lead singer Zach Williams has an awesome voice and the harmonies between mandolin player Kanere Pipkin and the other guitar player Brian Elmquist were bang on. Surprise band of the weekend for me.
The Lone Bellow.
Some footage I took at the show of The Lone Bellow.
One of the bands I was really looking forward to was The Hold Steady, another band from Brooklyn, New York. This was my second time seeing them live. The Hold Steady are on the road promoting their latest release "Teeth Dreams" which is a vast improvement from their last album "Heaven Is Whenever". I found the band to have a heavier sound this time around without keyboard player Franz Nicolay. The second guitarist Steve Selvidge added to the sound in a great way. Lead singer Craig Finn was his usual self, weird and entertaining, and his voice sounding good. Their hour long set was excellent.
The Hold Steady.
The Bahamas were the next band. They are a Canadian band from Toronto led by Alfie Jurvanen. I really knew nothing about this band, and can honestly say, I probably won't again. They were alright, but not my thing. I went for a few beers during their set.
Next up was a piano player from London, England by the name of Henri Herbert. His claim to fame is a clip of his getting seven million hits on you tube, click here to see the clip. His boogie woogie piano playing was pretty damn good actually. I guess he also plays in a band called the Jim Jones Revue.
After Henri it was a seven piece soul band from Birmingham, Alabama called St. Paul and The Broken Bones. These guys were a kick ass soul band. My only problem was that I was aching for some rock n' roll. I enjoyed their set, as did the rest of the audience, but I am sure I could have enjoyed them a whole lot more if I had been the right mood for soul music, and I just wasn't at this time. Good band nonetheless.
St. Paul and The Broken Bones.
Finally up was the artist that made me really want tickets to this festival. Jason Isbell from Alabama who used to play in the Drive-By Truckers between 2001-2007. His latest album called Southeastern was one of my favorite albums of 2013, so I was super excited about seeing him in concert. The show started a little shaky with technical difficulties causing issues. Once they got that all settled it was an unbelievable hour long set by Jason Isbell and his back-up band the 400 Unit. Jason is one of the best song writers out there these days. A great set by a great artist and band. Hope to see him again soon.
Jason Isbell's Interstellar set list.
Flying Over Water
Outfit (Drive-By Truckers song)
Decoration Day (Drive-By Truckers song)
Closer for the night was Gord Downie, The Sadies and The Conquering Sun, which is a collaboration of The Sadies and the Tragically Hip front man Gord Downie. They released there first album together earlier this year. I was also excited about seeing this performance as I am a huge Sadies fan and have always been a fan of the Hip and especially Gord Downie.
Gord was his usual quirky self, fighting with his microphone stand and just being his weird self. And The Sadies, well they just rocked the shit out of the music, verging on almost punk rock at times. I think the crowd was taken a back by the performance, maybe the crowd was thinking they would hear some Hip songs, which of course wasn't going to happen. It seemed the crowd thinned out quite a bit, but part of that could be because it was a Sunday night and people had to work the following day. But I am thinking more on the performance. I loved it, I thought it was amazing, they played basically the whole album. The Sadies are an a amazing band and showed it yet once again in their live show.
Gord Downie, The Sadies and The Conquering Sun.
A great day of music, weather, and good friends. Good times!!!