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Granville Online takes a roadtrip to check out 'beautiful' new arts and music festival Live at Squamish. Gorgeous photos!
New arts and music festival Live at Squamish was beautifully executed, beautifully situated, full of beautiful people, and the weather, while not beautiful, was better than expected.
Here are a few of my highlights with photos by Monique Cheung from the September 4-5, 2010, weekend:
And did they ever rock—the older the better. Bad Religion put on one of the best shows of the weekend, with an impeccable set and great stage banter.
Bad Religion at Live at Squamish
You could tell the band, which has been around since the very early ’80s, was going to play long before they even started their set just by the crowd filtering into the venue: Bad Religion fans were wearing plenty of black, had abundant piercings and were generally older than the 20-something flannel shirt-clad crowd that primarily dominated the weekend. Once their set started, the fans became extra rowdy—starting a huge mosh pit—and chanted along with every song.
Playing right after Bad Religion, Portland, Oregon’s The Decemberists put on a stellar show. I lump them in with the “old guys” because even though they are not the veterans Bad Religion is, I saw a lot of grey hair onstage.
The Decemberists at Live at Squamish
The crowd loved Vancouver native son Matthew Good, and he was definitely one of the old guys rocking out, and his performance was undeniably very polished.
Matthew Good at Live at Squamish
The crowd was incredibly diverse. There were young families with kids ranging from toddler to pre-teen (the young kids donning heavy duty ear protection). I especially enjoyed watching a trio of 6 year olds dance to Tokyo Police Club.
Little urchins rock out (top) to Tokyo Police Club (above) at Live at Squamish
Another favourite was a large group of ravers, fresh from Shambhala perhaps, dressed like furry dinosaurs.
Furry dinos shake their tail feathers at Live at Squamish
There were of course the requisite hipsters, some genuine, many more who had just bought their outfits at The Ark or Urban Outfitters the day before. Everyone seemed to be having a great time and I saw smiling faces all around.
Flannel-clad pre-teen hipsters-in-training at Live at Squamish
I never randomly see people I know at music festivals, so I was very surprised that I bumped into numerous friends. One encounter was especially random. Monique and I ran into Austin Woodward, a friend of ours from high school who now works for brand.LIVE. Austin gave us a tour of the backstage, including a super fancy backstage tent for performers that had massage therapists and soothing music.
Mark Thompson and Austin Woodward of brand.LIVE with blogger Meera Bennett
We also made new friends at the festival. I continually bumped into Shevonne Newton, the acrobat for the Lawn Girls, a Vancouver-based sustainability-focused performance troupe, and after learning that she teaches at a circus school, I made her promise to teach me how to do handstands. (Shevonne, I’m holding you to that promise!)
Vancouver-based performance troupe Lawn Girls at Live at Squamish
There was a small but quality art show set up on the walkway between the main stage and the electronic stage. One favourite was Kristian Adam from Surrey, who had whimsical animal and grotesque paintings on show. He also illustrates children’s books.
Surrey artist Kristian Adam at Live at Squamish
Some folks from Vancouver energy/art lab eatART were at Live at Squamish with Daisy, an enormous solar-powered tricycle—with a carriage for passengers—that can often be seen at art and music festivals around the region. And I was finally able to fulfill my dream of sitting on Daisy’s saddle!
Meera Bennett living the dream aboard eatART’s solar-powered trike Daisy at Live at Squamish
There were a lot of great electronic shows at Live at Squamish, but I think the best one was put on by DJ Z Trip, one of the pioneers of the mashup genre.
DJ Z Trip at Live at Squamish
The crowd was stoked, the music was bumping and Z Trip managed to play a version of a Black Eyed Peas song that even I liked.
DJ Z Trip’s adoring fans at Live at Squamish
I think I have a crush on the guitar player from Calgary indie/soul band The Dudes; I made Monique take a lot of photos of him.
The Dudes guitarist Bob Quaschnick at Live at Squamish
The crowd also loved the Hollerado show. And apparently I wasn’t alone in thinking Hollerado (of Ontario) were cute young things: I watch as one girl who really wanted to get on stage gave the band moony eyes throughout the whole set, though without success. I had a quick chat with Hollerado guitar player Nixon Boyd after their show on Saturday afternoon and apparently they were to play Taiwan Fest the next day.
Hollerado at Live at Squamish
Always adorable You Say Party seemed to have recovered from the tragic death of drummer Devon Clifford, putting on a stellar show in front of a small but enthusiastic audience on Sunday afternoon.
You Say Party’s Becky Ninkovic at Live at Squamish
The lead singer of Vancouver’s Mother Mother also deserves a honourable mention for cute young indie boy representation.
Mother Mother’s Ryan Guldemond at Live at Squamish
I like giving verdicts on things—probably because of my legal background—so here it is: Live at Squamish was great. I was actually planning on going down to Bumbershoot this year, but I’m really glad I went to Squamish instead. It was an awesome, no-hassle music extravaganza, and I am looking forward to going next year!
Local Meera Bennett loves going to music shows, checking out local art and culture, and eating good vegetarian food. In her spare time, she’s a lawyer working for “the man.” Meera lives in East Vancouver.
Monique Cheung is a freelance commercial photographer who is returning after a decade away living on Vancouver Island and in Seattle. Vancouver’s amazing food scene has lured her home and she’s having a fantastic time rediscovering the city and capturing it all on film. Website | Twitter