Friday night began with the careful unpacking of a heavy vertical coffin, as Sudbury welcomed the first unveiling of the heroic statue of the legendary
Stompin' Tom Connors
to the music of Scarlett Jane.
"Fortunately he didn't have to stay at the Lido this time around."
Trying to get a selfie, I got a photo taken by the sculptor himself, Tyler Fauvelle.
The traditional Friday rainfall couldn't stop the proceedings on any of the stages, even the unofficial ones.
Families, musicians, yarn bombers, raconteurs,
painters, vendors (even a solo entrepreneur with cuddly toys), swimmers chefs, techies, activists, cosplayers, lovers, publicists, photographers, yoga dancers, masseuses, fork-lift drivers, campers, bartenders, and other assorted sparks filled the hilltop for three days.
Ben Sures, with surprise bass player Suzie Vinnick, spread equal amounts of comedy and commentary abroad with his wry performance of original pop songs. Later he manned the swag table with Love Will Kick Your Ass t-shirts and a choice of four metallic pens for his autographing duties. .
Sudburian favourite Mimi Obonsawin held the stage, brought the dusk, and filled the seats with her personal songs of struggle and courage.
West Coast Cubanista Adonis Puentes churned up swirling skirts and drove his expert team of rhythmatists to levitate the entire mainstage audience as the moon rose over a Sudbury Saturday Night.
"Just call me The Harm." Sarah Harmer gave her new fans and a crowd of devotees all the great songs that have made her an emotional spirit guide for the nation over the last two decades. Newcomer to the band, bassist Ben Whiteley, put a muscular impetus into a tightly rocking performance that took everyone to the brink. Sarah polished the night off with a high-tide finale of Lodestar, and returned for a solo acoustic encore.
Meanwhile, dangerous levels of suds were being poured out at off-site venue, The Townehouse, where
House Of David Gang and Kobo Town gave the crowd some very good reasons not to sit still.
Mystic melodies fluctuated thrillingly through the high ground of the hill as Montreal`s Les Poules a Colin and Bombadils teamed up on the Family Stage on Sunday afternoon.
The delicate and intricate acoustic artistry of Jayme Stone's astonishing tribute to old time music, The Lomax Project, took flight onstage with the finely-wrought string slinging of Tatiana Hargreaves and Joe Phillips, and the shivering silver voice of Margaret Glaspy.
Reuben And The Dark received a mixed blessing of adulation and over-the-top teen spirit as a crowd of summer campers swarmed the stage-front for their restrained set of melancholic rock. Nevertheless, lead singer Reuben Bullock couldn`t help but high-five the energetic millenials, between attempts to discipline the rowds amongst them, who ``really had to work on their listening.``
Sheer force of musical will overcame a large crowd`s impulse to get home in time for The National as
Dan Mangan`s band, Blacksmith burned ferociously, matching the passion of the lyrics blow for blow to close out the Festival on Sunday night.
And there were robots.
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