CBC Music Fest kicked off our summer festival season with perfect weather and a festival full of every age demographic you can imagine. It was refreshing to gather and celebrate music as families, friends and strangers. To start off our day we caught Canadian singer-songwriter Bobby Bazini hit the main stage with soulful tracks from his debut album Summer is Gone, released last year. With an intimate crowd and captivating performance, this was a great start to our day. Next we hit up the Tent stage just in time to catch the last bit of Toronto alt-rockers Birds of Bellwoods. These up and comers blew me away with a unique instrumentation and energy that really sets them apart from any other folk/rock tunes I’ve heard lately.
With local roots in Burlington, we caught Valley’s contagious energy at the tent stage. This band has charted with us here at CFMU for many weeks and we couldn’t be happier watching their continued success on what seems like bigger and bigger stages every day. A humble comfortability keeps the band grounded with relatable and catchy tracks, but don’t look away for too long. With sold out shows, engaging songwriting and an animated presence on stage, they’re climbing the scene quickly. You can catch them on June 11th at the Sound of Music festival in Burlington. If your dancing shoes are polished and you’re looking for a new favourite band, this is the free show to be at.
One of the highlights of the day was the high-energy set of RALPH and her very dance-ready audience. Anywhere from toddlers, teens and parents, RALPH had us on our toes moving to her indie-pop tracks. She’s making her way passionately in Toronto with her vibrant presence and disco pop hits.
The day continued with catching sets by electro project, Austra who came dressed in a bright pink trenchcoat and sassy white shades. Her stellar range and lively theatrics made the outdoor set truly feel like summertime. We caught Walk Off the Earth, another Burlington-based group absolutely bring it home with a performance that had the entire festival in awe. This band found their skyrocketing success on YouTube and is now internationally renowned for using unconventional instruments and objects to produce one of a kind covers and originals. With anything from a didgeridoo to kazoos and ukeleles, they always have something new and groundbreaking up their sleeve. They brought fireworks and flames; it was truly a spectacle for all and a great introduction to Serena Ryder as she took the stage to play songs from her latest release Electric Love!
CBC Fest was packed with talent and it was the place to celebrate the start to a festival season filled with new bands, familiar tunes and the magic of music bringing people together.