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Saturday, September 6th, 2008

Virgin Festival 2008 Preview


Photo via MySpace

Just once, it’d be nice to have a V Fest go off without a hitch. Or at least have people talking more about who’s on the lineup than who’s not. The first year, there was the whole thing with the day two headliner Massive Attack having to cancel on account of visa issues, so Broken Social Scene was hastily called in to cover and while they put on a memorable show – how often do you get all three ladies on stage together – it wasn’t what was advertised. Then last year, it was Amy Winehouse who had to pull out in order to concentrate fully on her self-destruction, and while there were attempts to get the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in her stead, that didn’t work out and Kid Koala got the thankless task of entertaining the disgruntled masses for an hour (actually less, since his records started melting in the sun).

And now this year. After a strong start with the likes of Oasis, Paul Weller, Foo Fighters, Bloc Party and Spiritualized, the Toronto edition of V not only failed to add any more especially big names, they were actually losing them. Well, moderately big names. Swedish dance-pop queen Robyn disappeared from the lineup almost as quickly as she was announced on account of being tapped to open up for Madonna. Perfectly reasonable. Then UK brothers in arms The Cribs bailed – no reason given, but considering they’ve probably cancelled more Toronto shows than they’ve played, not a surprise. But when the official schedule was released last week and The Wombats were nowhere to be seen, that was a let-down. And inexplicable – their North American tour is continuing on as planned, and their routing still takes them near Toronto on Sunday (from Chicago to Providence) but they’re not crossing the border. And while it’s unlikely anyone bought a ticket explicitly to see these acts – that’s just bad budgeting – they were certainly draws and their absences cause for grumbling.

But on that, there’s naught to be done and at least the big guns are still coming to town today and tomorrow and if the weather holds out – looks iffy right now – it should still be a good weekend. The Toronto Star is obviously excited, devoting an entire section to the fest – previewing acts, talking to Bloc Party and Shudder To Think and generally getting all worked up. The Globe & Mail profiles a band that I’m more interested in seeing every time I listen – The Airborne Toxic Event, eye catches up with Constantines, AOL Music Canada talks to Paul Weller and NOW discusses the joys of ALL CAPS with MGMT.

Oh, and for a little audio content, one V Fest act covering another. The Kooks on MGMT.

MP3: The Kooks – “Kids”

And finally, apparently Noel Gallagher has whilst on this North American tour, but you need to be a registered member on their website to read em. I don’t think I’m quite ready to trade my personal info for access to such insights like the fact that The Beatles are his favourite band of all-time… though Details and Canada.com have more substantive pieces on the band. Either way, I’m still really forward to seeing them on Sunday night. Yessir.

By : Frank Yang at 9:25 am
Category: Uncategorized
RSS Feed for this post5 Responses.
  1. Paul says:

    When talking about hitches at V Fest, you can’t forget the fiasco that was The Flaming Lips’ 30 minute headlining set two years ago.

  2. AO says:

    The Wombats are actually playing a free show in Kansas City on Sunday with Carolina Liar and Ludo, even though its not listed on their website.
    Link: http://965thebuzz.com/pages

  3. Kiang Liam says:

    Oasis totally meant business last night in Montreal.
    They were great and ever thing one would hope for.
    SETLIST
    Rock ‘N’ Roll Star
    Lyla
    The Shock Of The Lightning
    Cigarettes And Alcohol
    The Meaning Of Soul
    To Be Where There’s Life
    The Masterplan
    Songbird
    Slide Away
    Morning Glory
    Ain’t Got Nothin
    The Importance of Being Idle
    Wonderwall
    Supersonic
    Don’t Look Back In Anger
    Falling Down
    Champagne Supernova
    ENCORE
    I Am The Walrus

  4. RC says:

    Frank enjoy Ryan Adam’s on Sunday night.
    Him and his band were excellent. It was
    an uptempo rockin set. Here’s the setlist.
    By the way, I really liked the new songs.
    Cobwebs
    Come Pick Me Up
    When the Stars Go Blue
    Let it Ride
    Everybody Knows
    Two
    Peaceful Valley
    Off Broadway
    Fix It

  5. Frank says:

    Paul – yeah, I was mostly commenting on the lineup issues and not the scheduling during the actual fest.

    AO – The Wombats would rather play for free in Kansas City than get paid a tonne to do our fest? weird. I’m guessing a visa issue.

    RC – Ryan Adams is not coming to Toronto. No idea why, I’m guessing they couldn’t afford him. bummer.