by Tiana Feng
Yesterday, began the first inauguration of the The Toronto Underground Roots Festival. Two stages were set up in the Garrison Commons of Fort York. Montreal folk quartet The Barr Brothers kicked off the night with some blues tinged folk rock.
Glasgow’s Camera Obscura followed, all mysteriously wearing sun glasses. Although, they did later mention that it was actually just for sun and not to be super pretentious. The troop played new tunes from Desire Lines making new fans from passer-byers in the audience including the lady in the Beaver Tails food truck who kindly asked for the band’s name. Favourites included “Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heart Broken” which everybody on Twitter seemed to quote the lines from.
Joel Plaskett and the Emergency was the highlight of my night. He played an extensive set which included newer and older tunes from his catalogue. Highlights included “True Patriot Love” (it was independence day and Canada’s Day week) and “Down at the Khyber”. Plaskett even granted a birthday wish to my friend @lisa_ttro and played the classic tune “This Town”.
Zoey Dechanel’s She & Him were the headliners of the night. There were signs all over the festival grounds telling all patrons not to take any photos of the group. If you tell the audience to devote you their full attention, you have to be a tight band and I thought She & Him did not deliver. The “cutesy” thing only works if your music is good. Their first 2 songs were sloppy where at times the guitar and rhythm session just didn’t mesh. It was almost thought this was a one-off show, but they have a line up of festivals to play this month. Maybe it got better as the set progressed but I left during the third song.