Sled Island in a nutshell, by Jeans Boots
“Jeans Boots! Relax!” says my new friend, and just then Ian Svenonius walks up.
The singer of Chain and the Gang was playing Broken City that evening, and he lets us touch his hair as we talk to him about the festival.
Sled Island has that real-world-magic, anything-can-happen sort of vibe. It’s a seemingly endless indie-rock nerd fest, full of people who are sort of famous for doing really great things, and even more people who do really great things you’ve never heard before. I can’t count the number of bands I saw. The number of great bands I missed is even higher.
From the sweaty Tubby Dog shows to the even sweatier 2 a.m. end-of-the-nights at Broken City, the entire weekend was a hazy overload of music. It sounds like I’m writing ad-copy but it really was amazing. Here’s a list of random point form festival favourites:
Sweetest Venue: Science Centre planetarium (Sleepy Sun show)
Most hard-working band of the festival: The Thermals
Most popular hairdo: The top knot
Most magical show: Silje Nes inside The Opera Centre, while having a lightning bolt painted on my face by a tiny woman, possibly a fairy.
Best accidental experience: Visiting the Cantos Music Foundation, a mind-melting synthesizer/piano museum full of working instruments
Best idea: Borrowing a bike
Best girl band: Puberty
Best hot dog: Sumo Dog at Tubby Dog.
Best jumping up and down to music (aka moshing) experience: Black Lips, Thursday night at The Legion
Biggest surprise: Watching my friend Amy of the very mellow Bronze Leaf play an insanely energetic yelling rock show as the lead singer of Gyre, Spire and Spindle.
Best awkward embrace: Lead singer of Brooklyn’s !!!
Biggest accidental insult: Asking one of Ted Leo’s Pharmacists if he got his beard in Vancouver.
Random art project: Taking nightly photo booth shots at Broken City.
Next year’s plan: Play the festival!
Add to it unscheduled after parties, impromptu dance parties and wine surreptitiously sipped in back alleys, great new friends, and a city that thinks my name is Jeans Boots. Well played Calgary, you’re not so bad after all!