V-Fest III: Burtch’s Take

Apparently I have procrastinated in posting my thoughts on the Virgin Music Festival from this weekend past. Chris has left me with the opportunity to post about the Dears, the Hidden Cameras, and Eagles of Death Metal. Lets get to it shall we?

The Dears put on exactly the show one would expect of a bombastic Montreal Art-Rock sextet, given to melodramatic, pining tunes. Dark, cynical, irreverent and just a tad pretentious, they happen to give any listener a decent insight into what life is like for anglos huddling under an ice-shrouded Montreal landscape in the dead of winter – all year round. That isn’t to say I have any problem at all with the music the Dears produce. As much as reviewers hem and haw around his obvious Brit-pop vocalist semblance, some disdainful, others reproachful; the talent of front man Murray Lightburn to craft songs that describe the darker side of life while being uplifting in their sound is fairly remarkable. Currently the band is touring North America and Europe in support of their 3rd release: “Gang of Losers.” I suggest checking out the tracks ‘Fear Made The World Go Round’, and ‘Death or Life, We Want You’, available through Red Blondehead, or the video for ‘Ticket To Immortality’ available on the band’s own website… I also happen to have the album so if you enjoy it, let me know, yanno?

The Dears

The Hidden Cameras – I didn’t enjoy them that much on the mushies, others might have. If you want to hear more on my not so positive opinions of the band or their live set, feel free to e-mail me but I won’t bother posting them in here.

The Hidden Cameras

Eagles of Death Metal – a Josh Homme of QOTSA side project that he drums for under the pseudonym “Carlos Von Sexron”, but I’m pretty sure he wasn’t there for the festival – played to a half-decent crowd at the Future Shop stage and singer Jesse Hughes played up his role as the campy 70’s rock singer, swearing profusely between tracks like he’d just been released from prison to play the festival. I enjoyed the set, but I’d like to take a moment to relate one of the more bizarre conversations I can ever recall being involved with.

Eagles Of Death Metal

While sitting drinking Bud Light (so gross, so watery, so not worth $5.50) in the Future Shop Beer Tent area we struck up a conversation with two guys who had made it onto the Island to see Muse. They then indicated they had zero interest in seeing the Flaming Lips live set as they had seen them at SARS fest and thought it was “the worst live act they’d ever seen.” This was subsequently one upped by the comment that Retread A “hated all Canadian Music”… which was then trumped by Retread B reminding him that that wasn’t true, he actually had stopped liking Canadian Music “ever since I Mother Earth and Edwin broke apart.” Bizarre? Entertaining? Who knows, maybe it was just the Mushrooms… but I’m pretty sure other people can verify what I remember hearing.

In summary I’d just like to say that as corporate and over the top as the festival seemed on the surface, it had a lot to offer – excluding decent beer.