Mother Mother, The Zolas, Dan Mangan, Highs, Land of Talk @ NXNE Port Lands 6/18/2016

Drastically different from the night before, Saturday at Port Lands had a mostly Canadian alt-rock lineup. The night’s headliner was the only non-Canadian Father John Misty, but I didn’t stay because I was headed to live some 90s pop dreams elsewhere (that’s for another post).

As I landed in the parking lot Land of Talk were already playing songs to fans that were excited to see them reunited. This day had the benefit of being on a weekend so that people could actually come up out early.

Next on the smaller stage was Highs who Dazzle Camouflage‘d their way into our hearts with their energetic performance. Their single “Gold Teeth” has been going viral lately and it excited fans to hear it live. Keyboardist Karrie Douglas took vocal duties in the song “Acting Strange” and I totally want to hear more tunes where she takes vocal reigns.

Back to the big stage was Dan Mangan, who played older tunes like “Road Regrets” but also things from his newly dropped experimental album Unmake. I don’t know why but Mangan actually sounded amazing the farther away you were from the stage. To the point where onlookers outside the fences stood on top of rocks and their own bikes to listen and enjoy the set.

The Zolas temporarily left their tour with Yukon Blonde to put on a super fun performance on the intimate stage with Zachary Gray jumping around (including over the photographers). Their sunny tropical melodies worked well under the intense beaming of the sun.

I don’t know why but the Mother Mother set I felt wasn’t their best. Mid set it seemed like they were a bit disenchanted with the festival and their performance and slightly-forced stage banter made it seem so. I didn’t catch if they redeemed themselves to the end because I was off to a venue 30 minutes away!