I arrived on Valentine’s Day at The Garrison (1197 Dundas West) in time for rap artist Clairmont the Second. He immediately walked onto the stage with the confidence of a much older and more seasoned performer. He quickly had the crowd chanting back and he impressed us with his spitfire delivery. He left no doubt about his commitment to the craft and on his final track ‘Dance’ he jumped into the crowd to show everyone that it wasn’t just a title. With showmanship and delivery like his, he is going far.
With Wavelength’s varied lineup crowds are also varied—sometimes from performer to performer. That was true for this next act Prince Innocence, which brought a whole lot of fur coats to the floor. Prince Innocence was probably the best at creating moods that didn’t involve jumping into the crowd and this set was like a session with a psychiatrist; it took you places, places that you didn’t always want to go. The venue felt smaller, more compressed, and the woman next to me was so into the band that she had pressed her ear against the monitor speakers at the front of the stage (Note: DO NOT DO THIS if you value your hearing). All in all, the low lighting with cool footage, vocals and heavy synth created a palpable mood that sometimes broke into trip hop.
She-Devils were next. She-Devils uses droning trippy 60s music, soulful and jazzy vocals and modern technology to make you think that it’s 1966 and that the summer of love is about to hit. At first you are slightly resistant to the music, thinking that is very repetitive. But at that very moment when this thought crosses your mind, you become hypnotized. She-Devils, though having songs that are very similar to themselves, are very much worth a look, especially their single ‘Come.’
The final act of the night and the festival was Thus Owls. This was another worthy headliner and another band of which you could tell the quality right away. This is also a band that is very hard to pin down; part blues, part Scandinavian funeral dirge, part haunting melody and part The Knife with guitars, if you needed someone to score a film soundtrack, this would be the band. Somehow bleak but very enjoyable, Thus Owls was the perfect eulogy to a musical weekend.
Through utilizing superior music knowledge the organizers of Wavelength have united many bands together at two venues for a lot of awesome to happen. Wavelength are quickly becoming one of my go-to festivals and I already cannot wait for next year.