The first act I was excited to see was Brasstronaut, playing the Stawamus Stage. They played a fairly short set, starting with "Slow Knots" and with a few new songs in there; one named "JT", which had a phenomenal and spacey instrumental ending, was dedicated to John Wah's year old kid, who was attending his first festival. They ended with an energetic "Lo Hi Hopes", giving the day a good start.
|Panda Watch. And by Panda Watch, I mean Said the Whale|
After setting up and coming out with creepy looking panda masks, they played an instrumental intro before ripping off the masks and revealing themselves to play a set of all new songs, which sounded pretty great.
A couple really stuck out, including the closing song which was a love letter to their fans, a "Ben-song" which may may or may not be called "True Love", and the aptly named "Hurricane Adele", as it was a complete force of nature. One of my favourite sets of the weekend, and I am definitely looking forward to the album.
|The Zolas, with guest Ashleigh Ball|
The Dudes were up next, though I only saw part of their set to recharge in the media tent and wander around to look at some of the other exhibits, like the artisans market and silent disco. The Dudes are a fun band live, no doubt, but I wouldn't say I'm too big a fan of them; a lot of their songs sounds kinda... samey.
|Black Mountain did not run our hearts around.|
Though there was a strange and awkward moment near the end of their set. As they were wrapping up with "Don't Run Our Hearts Around", an overzealous stagehand walked in front of the band, mid-song, to tell them it was time to wrap it up. Definitely an unnecessary and unprofessional touch.
Soon enough it was time for a second dose of Metric, after their acoustic set the previous day. And it was definitely quite a contrast to that, especially in the level of intensity from Haines; she was back and forth and dancing, a ball of energy that hardly stood still for a minute. They kicked off with "Black Sheep" (which had me momentarily thinking "Envy Adams??") and blasted through a good chunk of their catalogue. Older songs were spiced up a bit, with "Empty" featured a few lines of Beastie Boys' "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)". "Sick Muse" and "Dead Disco" were a couple more highlights before they ended with "Stadium Love"
|Shake your head it's Metric|
All in all, I would say it was a fantastic weekend. They streamlined a lot from the first year, and I love that they included the Green Couch stage, even though I didn't get a chance to see as much as I would have liked on it. And while I liked the headliners better last year, I think they had a stronger all-around lineup this year. One thing I did like better about last year that it was on the long weekend, giving people more time to decompress after, but aside from that, I would say the second year of Live at Squamish was a triumph, and I already can't wait to see what is in store for next year.