by Tiana Feng
Yesterday I went to Hard Fest Toronto at Fort York presented by Embrace and Scion Sessions. Weather was the evil step sister to the event starting with a massive heat wave and later welcoming a thunderstorm. However, it didn’t matter and everyone got what they had came to see.
Starting off the day was Charli XCX which is the monicker of project fronted by UK singer-songwriter Charlotte Aitchison. Even though it was earlier in the day, there were about 100 people there who was watching the songstress grace them with her dark electropop style. It was so hot she eventually stripped down to just a bra (sorry dudes, didn’t take photos of that).
Following Charli was Buraka Som Sistema who sounded kind of like a fusion between techno and Caribbean dance music. They had at least 5 people on stage but they were all doing their job to keep the audience riled up.
This is was my first time seeing Austra. Katie has such an adorable stage presence and you can’t forget the lovely back up singers from Tasseomancy (whom I have seen before). I was quite surprised they had a drummer and a keyboardist. This whole time I thought they just had backing tracks and drum machines. Now I love them even more. I’m not going to lie, even though I saw M83 and Justice later on in the night, I was singing Austra songs on my bus back home.
French band M83 did not fail to impress with some hook filled dreampop and colourful lights. I love how every song is anthem-like but there’s that tension in Anthony’s vocals that makes the mixture work so well. Jordan Lawlor, who’s the probably the youngest member of the band amazes me the most. He is a natural performer whether he’s playing the keyboard or the guitar.
Last but not least was Justice! Their stage was lit up like the coming of Jesus. It even sort of looked that way considering I wasn’t tall enough to see them over the large cross while I was up front. Well, if the music of Justice was to be a part of some religion, I might consider it. The duo killed it on stage and it was well worth the thunderstorm delay.