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Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Come On Pilgrim

Nine Inch Nails, Pixies, Grizzly Bear and Pet Shop Boys for Virgin Festival Toronto/Ontario 2009

Photo via MySpaceMySpaceSo here we go. Some four months after I’d originally expected to see it in my inbox and after much rumour-mongering, hand-wringing, bitching and moaning, it’s here. The lineup for Toronto’s – sorry, Ontario’sVirgin Festival 2009. It’s far and away the most mixed bag of nuts yet, with names guaranteed to both delight and confound, no matter what you’re into.

So really, the question is this; is this lineup enough to get you out to Burl’s Creek park near Orillia and camp for two or three nights with all the attendant logistical hassles? And perhaps more importantly… was this worth the wait? The fact that 2-day tickets this year are just $99 ($105 after fees) – I think that’s a full $30-$40 less than past years – may help sway your opinion towards the “yes” side, though that’s just admission – camping costs another $100 for two nights and $135 for three nights (note – prices are per campsite, not per person, to a maximum four people per site) and there’s various VIP options for those with low self esteem. There will also be information on commuting assistance forthcoming for those citygoers who are afraid to venture north of Dupont, let alone into cottage country.

But anyways. Here it is, with the standard “more to come!” note attached.

Saturday, August 29
Ben Harper & The Relentless7
Pixies
Franz Ferdinand
Paolo Nutini
Grizzly Bear
Mates Of State
Sloan
LIGHTS
Plants & Animals
Down With Webster
The Rural Alberta Advantage
Iglu & Hartly

Sunday, August 30
Nine Inch Nails
Pet Shop Boys
Our Lady Peace
N.E.R.D.
Cold War Kids
MuteMath
Mew
Thunderheist
Coeur De Pirate
The Von Bondies
Datarock
HyperCrush
Trouble Andrew
Silver Starling
The D’Urbervilles

For myself, I have to say this is a pretty attractive lineup, and I love how acronym-heavy the Sunday is, should make for easy texting. Providing there’s no scheduling SNAFUs I see more than enough to keep me interested from start to finish, and if this were somewhere more accessible then it’d be a no-brainer to attend. I wonder if the Pixies will be doing their Doolittle show or if it’ll be a normal set? I assume they, like Pet Shop Boys, will be closing out the second stage rather than warming up for the wholly incompatible “headliners” on each night. The location does give me pause, though – as I think I’ve mentioned before, I have unfond memories of sitting on the 400 for hours while trying to get to Molson Park, and now you have to add in getting through/around Barrie and to an even more remote location. So yeah, this’ll take some thinking. And maybe a helicopter rental. And yourselves? Who’s already airing out their tents and stocking up on industrial-strength blackfly repellant, and who’s, well, not?

And here’s a by no means comprehensive but decent sampling of what you might be hearing waft across Lake Simcoe that last weekend of August.

MP3: Grizzly Bear – “Cheerleader”
MP3: Mew – “Repeaterbeater”
MP3: Mates Of State – “My Only Offer”
MP3: Sloan – “I’m Not A Kid Anymore”
MP3: Thunderheist – “Jerk It”
MP3: Cold War Kids – “Hospital Beds”
MP3: The Von Bondies – “Pale Bride”
MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Frank, AB”
MP3: The D’Urbervilles – “Dragnet”
Video: Pixies – “Here Comes Your Man”
Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Love Etc”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Can’t Stop Feeling”
Video: Mute Math – “Spotlight”
Video: Coeur De Pirate – “Comme Des Enfants”

Matablog has details on the new Mission Of Burma record The Sound The Speed The Light, due out October 6. They also have the first MP3, with a decidedly un-MOB title but a very MOB sound.

MP3: Mission Of Burma – “1, 2, 3, Partyy!”

Bandstand Busking has posted a show from Woodpigeon.

They’ve already got a show at the El Mocambo this Thursday, but Japandroids have already scheduled another one at the Horseshoe for September 19 with The Mt St Helen’s Vietnam Band. Tickets $10.

MP3: Japandroids – “Young Hearts Spark Fire”
MP3: The Mt St Helen’s Vietnam Band – “Cheer For Fate”

If you don’t catch her free show at Harbourfront on July 25, Amy Millan has booked a cross-Canada tour including an October 14 date at the Mod Club in support of Masters Of The Burial, out September 8. Tickets for that show are $15.

Black Key gone solo Dan Auerbach will bring his Keep It Hid to the Phoenix on November 7 with Justin Townes Earle and Jessica Lea Mayfield as support. Tickets $20.50.

MP3: Dan Auerbach – “I Want Some More”
MP3: Justin Townes Earle – “Midnight At The Movies”
Video: Jessica Lea Mayfield – “Kiss Me Again”

By : Frank Yang at 9:42 am
Category: General

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RSS Feed for this post14 Responses.
  1. Greg says:

    No thanks I will pass on this one for sure. Nothing but washed up and/or second rate acts to be certain with the exception of Grizzly Bear and Franz

  2. suckingalmon says:

    Black Key gone solo Dan Auerbach will bring his Keep It Hid to the Phoenix on November 7 with Justin Townes Earle and Jessica Lea Mayfield as support. Tickets $20.50.

    will be amazing!

  3. Maria says:

    But why aren’t they doing it in the Island or somewhere in Toronto anymore?

  4. Melissa says:

    I am for sure going to the fest this year. I won’t be camping though, hopefully I will be commuting each day from north of Barrie instead of Toronto. That shouldn’t be as bad. The ticket prices are fabulous this year! This will be my first Vfest and I am so excited!

  5. mike says:

    Virgin Festival Ontario is a maybe for me. I’d have preferred if NIN headlined day 1 instead of Ben Harper though.

  6. Bruce says:

    Speaking of Amy Millan, is it possible the absence (so far) of a review of Saturday’s most epic ever BSS show means you didn’t make it to Harbourfront? Because, holy crap, that was unbelievable.

  7. paul says:

    there’s no one here i would individually pay to see, with the exception of (maybe) Grizzly Bear, if they had a really great opening act…the problem with these big rock festivals is that you have to try and cater to everyone’s tastes…i’ll repeat myself…we need a festival like Pfork here in Toronto…something a little more left-field/progressive…on a related note, it seems that the “Electronic Music” festival at Harbourfront is becoming less interesting each year…I’m not sure who’s programming this anymore, but the new? MC this year didn’t seem to know much about EM…bring back Denise Benson!

  8. Scott says:

    In really want to see the Pet Shop Boys again… but not enough to slog north of Barrie. They seem an odd festival choice in Canada. I know their European audiences are somewhat used to seeing them in big fields, but the last time they were here – the audience was NOT what I would call festival-friendly… weird.

  9. Adam K. says:

    I may have to make the trip up for night 1, if only because I still haven’t had the opportunity to see the Pixies.

  10. Adam says:

    WTF is wrong with you people???? This lineup is incredible. Pixies, NIN, Grizzly Bear, Couer De Pirate, CWK, Franz Ferdinand, Von Bondies, Sloan, count me in!

  11. V Lover... says:

    To clarify – camping prices are per spot and not per person – depending on how cozy you like to get and if you can borrow a van you could even split the $100 3 ways…

  12. Frank Yang says:

    Maria – the initial V Fest contract with the Island was three years, and I assume the residents blocked any attempts to extend it because they suck.

    Bruce – I was not at the BSS show, had family commitments that took precedence. Looked great, though.

    Paul – that’d be nice but I don’t think Toronto has the fanbase to support something like that, as far as getting acts to plan their touring around a fixed Toronto date. Assuming Rogers Picnic and Olympic Island return in the future, and V continues, I think we’re doing as well as we can expect for fests.

    V Lover – thanks for the clarification

  13. Andrew says:

    The Pixies and NIN are definitely heavy draws for me, but I’m really not keen on seeing either band in a festival lineup. I’m definitely going to try and see both bands in another setting.

  14. Bruce says:

    Frank, sorry to hear you couldn’t get to the waterfront on Saturday — plenty of clips of the show on YouTube if you’re curious. The VFest lineup is tempting, but for me, not unmissable (thanks to seeing the Pixies a couple of years ago). Besides, I think my days of living in a tent city are behind me.