Wakestock, Bayfest strike the perfect note

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Wakestock and Bayfest montage of images

4 stars

Wakestock, one of Canada’s largest action sports and music festivals, recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. Over the years, the festival has become a focal point for showcasing the planet’s most skilled wakeboarders and some of the best North American music talent.

This year, “the world’s largest wakeboarding festival” graced the Toronto Islands to a record crowd. While the world’s best wakeboarders thrilled the masses on the water, North America’s top indie and mainstream bands rocked the island.

Fans were treated to the smooth, laid back grooves of hip-hop pioneers De La Soul. Soon after De La Soul took the stage, a mysterious cloud of smoke shrouded the audience " a tell-tale sign everyone was getting their groove on.

Other notable acts included Del the Funky Homosapien, who delivered a stirring rendition of the Gorillaz trademark tune “Clint Eastwood,” much to the audience’s delight.

Later, Goldfinger took the main stage and blasted out pop-punk classics of the ‘90s including “Counting the Days” and “Superman”.

Capping off the day’s intensive band line-up, The Deftones unleashed an hour and a half performance, a thrilling end to the afternoon.

Over on the indie stage, Aftermath recording artist Joell Ortiz wooed audiences with his dynamic mix of urban hip-hop and lyrical flow.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Wakestock was the cultural infusion of different sounds and styles, which made the festival a truly remarkable event.

Aerosmith, Nickelback, Toby Keith, and Def Leppard: these are the titans of rock and roll (and country) and the recent headliners of Bayfest, a four-day music festival held in Sarnia.

In the past, the festival has attracted high calibre acts like Billy Talent, Kid Rock, Alter Bridge, David Lee Roth, Staind, and 3 Doors Down. This year was no exception as all four headlining acts delivered powerful performances.

Joe Perry of Aerosmith played an epic solo, playing his guitar behind his head and in between his legs, even unwinding its strings and retuning almost immediately without missing a beat.

Veteran British rockers Def Leppard were in solid form, blasting out a well-received rendition of “Pour Some Sugar On It.”

Bayfest’s stage set up was also impressive. The venue had a built-in catwalk to allow for more intimacy between audience and performer, an enhancement to the traditional rectangular platform. In addition, several big-screens were erected that projected different shots of the concert.

Perhaps the most frustrating feature of Bayfest was security. The security firm hired for the event was rude and had no idea what was going on, which made getting into the concert an unnecessary hassle.

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