Time Festival Review
“How the heck do I begin to explain what happened here today?” I remember thinking these distinct words to myself as I left Fort York Garrison that Saturday evening. The only logical explanation my brain could come up with was that ‘it’s almost like tripping on acid while having your iPod on shuffle.’ The imagery, the heat, the lineup made for a wonderful, strange and surreal experience that affected our emotional spectrum in countless ways. What I particularly enjoyed about this festival was seeing a mixed crowd. Fans were drawn from all types of music genres. You had the ‘hip-hop heads’ there to enjoy Freddie Gibbs, the ‘hipsters’ there to enjoy the Mac attack, Mr. Mac Demarco and then you had the outcasts, there to support, the always interesting, Die Antwoord. We all congregated from different communities to share our love of music, no matter what your preferences were. We were there together so we may as well party together.
The hula hoop guy: There was a graceful soul at the festival that needs a shout out; the hula hoop guy. I unfortunately don’t know his name but I know he was there, for every act, putting on a show for the people in attendance. He and that hoop did things we didn’t even know were possible. He put on a dazzling spectacle, wowing the crowd and headlining many Snapchat stories. No matter who was performing on stage, you’d better believe he was out there, in the heat, working that hula hoop and making friends in the process. Hula-hoop guy, this one is for you.
Mac Demarco: No one knew what to expect from him. I certainly didn’t. Rumours circulated about his on-stage unpredictability but this time around, he was just cool, calm and collected. He played melodically to the hums of the crowd and truly seemed humbled to be there. We could tell he was having fun and that made us enjoy his set even more. Even his guitarist got in on the fun as he sang a song or two while Demarco tuned his guitar. The infectious positivity Demarco and his band exuded on stage resonated throughout the park. We all just mellowed out and grooved with one another. Whether we knew one another was irrelevant. For that brief moment, we were all family, there to support our brother, Mac Demarco.
Ariel Pink and his hot pants: If prior to the festival you didn’t know who he was, you’ll definitely never forget the name Ariel Pink. He came out in these white never nude (please see Tobias Funke) jeans that revealed half his manhood. This only happened if he bent over to aggressively, or if he walked to aggressively, or if he moved….at all. His music was odd but fun in a lo-fi hippy kind of way. If you simply look at his past album covers, you can get a glimpse into what to expect from him music. His abstract minimalist approach, when it comes to his album cover designs, speaks highly of his artistic upbringings. An upbringing that has transcended his visual spectrum and shaped the way he interprets sound. His music basically says “if you don't get it, it's probably because you're not a genius. Although I enjoyed his performance, I don’t think I really understood it the way it was meant to.
Die Antwoord: Geeeze Louise! This one boggled the mind. I’ve never felt such intense feelings of anxiety watching a musical performance before. The intro alone was enough to give this old soul a heart attack. They began their set with a mysterious face, plastered on the screen. This ‘odd-looking’ gentleman remained there, blinking and gazing at the crowed while a slow, hypnotic rhythm pulsated in the background for what seemed to be an eternity. Finally, the screen dramatically switched visuals. Then a bright blue light shone onto the spectators as they stared in confusion at the images of tiny cartoon characters holding their penises were projected onto screen. The pulsing beat that was originally playing had transitioned to fierce electronic beats as a way to match the intensity of the characters on screen. The audience could only respond by cheering loudly or awkwardly stand there and try to make sense of what was happening. The large majority of the crowd cheered. Then BOOM! Out of nowhere, NINJA exploded onto the scene, wearing a Pikachu onesie!
The crowd went crazy. Then Yolandi emerged. The crowd went even crazier. They energetically ran around onstage, feeding the crowd’s curiosity and intrigue with crazier visuals as more and more performers made their way onto the stage. Each performer’s outfit, graffitied with slurs and profane visuals, which although offensive to some, proved quite hilarious to me and other fans alike. Their entire set was filled with similar surprises; professional twerkers, questionable graphics, and a jaw-dropping mixing solo presented by Deejay “fuck-you-in-the ass.” I remembered being with a few people who had never heard their music but had been forewarned of their outrageous performances. They spent the entire set flabbergasted and speechless. If you spoke with them after the show, they’d tell you, that was the best introduction to a new band they had ever experienced.