by Tiana Feng
On Friday, as the weather started to dip to cool temperatures, Long Winter kicked off their 3rd year at The Great Hall.
I bought my tickets early in advance this year (which is a new option this year for $11), and arrived quite early. I sipped some Club Mate as I listened to Deep Dark United’s Alex Lukashevsky begin the night.
This volume featured a few hip-hop artists (a genre that is not always welcome in the city), including Toronto’s Kaydee. I love the feeling of Long Winter being all-encompassing. Most performers even stayed around to watch each-other play.
Over in the Blackbox Theatre, The Bicycles played short interludes between different guests in the Long Night with Vish Khanna series. The show featured guests such as recent Giller Prize winner Sean Michaels, Trillium Book Award winner Souvankham Thammavongsa and comedian Nick Flanagan.
Oh yeah, Basia Bulat played a stripped down version of “Wires” from her album Tall Tall Shadow.
Afterwards, I returned to the main stage for the rest of the night. I don’t know what was going on but the security guard didn’t seem to want people to go in our out, and the hall wasn’t even full for most of the night. Friends were stuck waiting 15 min on the stairs because they explored other rooms. As a result, it didn’t have the easygoing feel that Long Winter had in it’s first year.
Anyways, Daniel Lee (from Hooded Fang and Phedre) introduced the audience to his latest project Lee Paradise. If you haven’t heard it yet, it’s like a darker version of Phedre. April Aliermo was front and centre in the crowd, starting a dance floor and cheering her bandmate (of all other projects) on.
Next we were treated to fellow Buzz Records’ labelmate Mexican Slang. Annabelle Lee and crew entranced the crowd to mosh with their noise pop. Their set was short and sweet (and started earlier than planned), so a few stragglers stuck in line missed it entirely.
I ended my night with Mozart’s Sister, who confidently got the hall dancing. She was joined by her own crew of dancers as well as a few of the hip-hop performers who looked like they were having a great time. Her set was a great culmination of the night, showing off the talent and the community that Long Winter brings together.
Check out my entire photoset from the night below: