It was off to Bloomfest 2012. To me, this street festival deserves more attention. It has the perfect mix of music and art. The organizers appear to be taking a conservative approach to expanding – though it is growing. Time fades memories, but I do believe that the size of the festival has grown significantly both in number of people attending and in geographical size since my first visit in 2010. Bloomfest this year had two main music stages: the usual Traction Stage and the new Bloom’s Stage.
My day started off at the Bloom’s Stage to catch Swords of Fatima. Their Facebook page describes them as Bollywood Disco Punk. The lead singer wears a headdress and the drummer looks like he came from Blade Runner or The Fifth Element central casting. It was an interesting way to start my day.
Noticed: most of the crowd was about 15 meters back, in the shade.
It was around the corner to the Traction Stage to catch Helena. She has a Southern-inspired, big vocal sound that quickly hooks you. It also doesn’t hurt that she brings out the violin for a few songs(strings are always a plus with me).
I stuck around the Traction Stage to catch a handful of songs from NO.
I do love NO. Their music is so powerful.
I needed to skip out on the back half of NO’s set to catch Carnage Asada.
Noticed: the folks closest to the stage were mainly middle-aged individuals who were rocking out like they were in their twenties –though perhaps a tad slower.
Saccharine Trust played next on the Bloom’s Stage. A lady came up and asked, “Is this the original Saccharine Trust line-up?” I shrugged. I didn’t even know who Saccharine Trustwas. While writing this up, I did a little Wikipedia research on the band. They started in 1980 and toured with Black Flag. Also, Kurt Cobain considered one of their albums a favorite.
Noticed: during one song, the lead singer hung himself on a cross (his microphone stand) and sang, “In Hell, this is not allowed.”
Comment: Every pair of glasses I reach for are broken.
Clips of song lyrics: Un-circumcise me . . .Everyone has a reason to sing . . . The struggle within goes on.
It was back to the Traction Stage to catch one of my favorite 2012 finds: Grace Woodroofe. She started her set early and so I was hoping she’d go longer with her set, but she stuck to 30minutes. I argue she gave the performance of the day on the Traction Stage.
Noticed: if she doesn’t have a guitar in her hands,her right hand is always keeping beat by either slapping her leg or tapping the air.
Audience moment of the day: between Grace Woodroofe and The Neighbourhood, a barefooted little girl, danced to the DJ. Following her lead, a number of adults started to dance, as well.
The Neighbourhood also seemed ready to start their set early. I could be making this totally up, but the body language of the Bloomfest staff seemed uncomfortable with this. The Neighbourhood fiddled around on stage for a few moments and started their set five minutes early. This band had the fans out. They gave a smooth sounding set.
I moved back to the Bloom’s Stage to catch Downtown Devil Dogs. This was another seasoned band of rockers, the main focus of thisstage.
Two moments noticed: for one song, the bass player tapped the guitarist in front of him, which indicated they needed to shift spots. There was a clock on the stage to keep the bands on track.
My final band of the night was Superhumanoids on the Traction Stage.
Exchange of the night: Band, “How are you all doing?” Woman in the audience, mouthed, “Pretty good.”
Noticed: Older gentleman dancing throughout the set.
Sarah’s vocals linger in the air.
The Bloom’s Stage was for the seasoned rockers. The Traction Stage was for bands looking for their break. I’m going to say this: I have my biases towards NO and Grace Woodroofe, but the best stage shows were put on by the seasoned rockers.