V Festival Toronto: From England With Love


Events, Features, Music, Review | by — September 10, 2006

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Toronto Island

by Joanna Orland

The city of Toronto. Home to such festivals as the Toronto International Film Festival, and now North America’s first V Festival which took place on the island. What a beautiful backdrop, eh? While the UK’s V takes place in the countryside of Essex, Tdot’s V is only accessible by Ferry. Unfortunately for me I decided to take the VIP ferry over which was like a small boat that rocked violently with each wave. Still, more scenic than a shuttle bus. I’m a landlubber at heart.

The common-folk ferry which I took on the way back – ah, much better.

When I got off the ferry Mr. Richard Branson was awaiting. Rumour has it Mr. B. had the festival on Sept 9-10 during the Film Festival in case celebs showed up! Total stalker.

Anyway, I was on the VIP raft when I could hear from the water something vaguely like my band du jour Wolfmother. I checked my watch…what was this? 4:10pm? They were on 25 minutes ahead of schedule? This couldn’t be! Not when me and half the people in the water were arriving purposely at this time to see the up-and-coming rockers! Hmm…

Wolfmother on stage 25 minutes early… sigh… I could hear ‘Woman’ from the water.

When we stepped foot on land, ran all the way to the main stage to catch the last WM song, the mystery was solved. Hip Hop act Lupe Fiasco called in that they were going to be late. Everyone was bumped up 20 minutes, with no prior warning. Rumour, actually, fact, also has it that the previous evening’s headliners The Flaming Lips got on stage late and were cut after 4 songs cuz of the 11 o’clock island curfew! Piss.

Enough kvetching. After missing Wolfmother, I found my friends in the Bacardi tent where we downed cocktails and listened to a MSTRKRFT DJ set – their first set of the day – they were on later on the 2nd stage. I really enjoyed it, they played most of their songs. Thing is, when they went on stage later on, they played the same songs. And a live set should really consist of more than pressing play and shaking your booties. Boo on you MSTRKRFT. I miss DFA1979. 🙁

MSTRKRFT press play and look busy.

While the V Festival in the UK has a lot of Brit bands, V Tdot had its fair share of Canucks. Ie MSTRKRFT, Broken Social Scene, The Hidden Cameras, The Dears and the sexy Sam Roberts amongst them.

Sam Roberts Band, look better than they sound – PHWOAR!!! They’re good musicians though… Did I mention PHWOAR!?

Random Sam Roberts fans.

Despite what my bitchy demeanour implies, I was actually having a LOT of fun at this point. Everyone made it to V fest that day and it was one of running into old friends left right and center! Such a cool vibe. But here’s where they lost me… Massive Attack had pulled out as headliners, right… so they get Broken Social Scene to fill in the slot. BSS had JUST headlined a concert on the island a month ago. I understand they needed someone Canadian to fill in last minute, but it should’ve been Arcade Fire. They should have shipped them in from Montreal. It would’ve been worth the effort.

Ok, so now with BSS filling in for Massive Attack, WTF was this ordering of the top 3 bands??? It went The Strokes, The Raconteurs and then BSS. Everyone on site agreed that it should have been BSS, The Raconteurs and The Strokes as the headliners!!! COME ON! The Strokes are the biggest selling act of the three and they’re fucking BRILLIANT live. Julian was wasted as always. And still looking like Karate Kid Ralph Macchio.


Ok, I’m not usually wrong, but the last time I saw The Raconteurs I thought they were shite. I was wrong. Brendan Benson is shite. The rest are Rockers with a capital RAW!! Jack White (not Jack Black as I STILL keep calling him) is a rock star. He doesn’t need a band, he is just IT. They did a wicked cover of Nancy Sinatra and rocked down the house (still not as solid as The Strokes though). The bass was horrendously loud unfortunately and even with EARplugs in, it was painful. Good set because Jack White is an ENTERTAINER. Brendan Benson sucks.

Le Raconteurs

Broken Social Scene. Shou’dve been Arcade Fire. Actually, should’ve been Massive Attack, but they couldn’t get a work permit. Actually, everyone was having trouble crossing the border. Jack White even compared Canada to West Germany. Oh well. It was a great set with the ENTIRE band there, but was a bit of a let down and didn’t fit the mood. Would’ve been better to see them earlier.

Broken Social Scene.

Well, that’s us from V Fest Tdot. I only bitch because I love and can see the potential this festival has. It’s a definite winner with a few snags along the way! Please bring it back next year and give your bands letters of permission to cross the border! It was a GREAT time!

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