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S.C.E.N.E. Festival Review

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S.C.E.N.E. Festival Review

SCENE Fest 2013 St.Catherines

SCENE Fest 2013 Crowd

What: SCENE Festival (18th annual) – sponsored by The Scene Magazine
When: Sunday June 9 , 2013
Where: Downtown St. Catherine’s Ontario
Who: 100 bands+

It was a bright sunny day in St Catharine’s on Sunday. Groups of youngsters were on the prowl for the best new bands. We showed up around noon and were promptly taken care of by publicists Audio Blood as crowds of media, bands and organizers scrambled about.  Now in it’ 18h year, The S.C.E.N.E. festival has grown to include 9 indoor venues and two main open stages, with a huge market space for merch. Dozens of promotional tents and food trucks for the likes of Pepsi, Vitamin Water and others were set up as well. Once we got our passes and split into groups, I was off  to see what the festival had to offer.

 

Rings of Saturn – 1:30 PM @ Coco Cabana

Rings of Saturn at SCENE fest

Rings of Saturn – SCENE fest 2013

Sex Appeal 7/10

Originality 9/10

Stage Presence 8/10

Musical Ability 9/10

Crowd Reaction 10/10

Total Score: 8.6/10

 

The day started off great, with Rings of Saturn tearing Coco Cabana apart. Fans were waiting patiently while the band members were setting up their gear. There was a sense of anticipation in the air and Rings of Saturn delivered beyond expectations. The crowd was ecstatic and the moshpit picked up right away. Rings of Saturn are a technical deathcore band based out of California. I thoroughly enjoyed the technical aspect of their music, even though the vocals were monotonous and illegible most of the time.

 

The Balconies – 2:30 PM - S.C.E.N.E. Main Stage @ Market Square

The Balconies SCENE fest

The Balconies SCENE Fest 2013

Sex Appeal 10/10

Originality 7/10

Stage Presence 10/10

Musical Ability 9/10

Crowd Reaction 5/10

Total Score: 8.2/10

I was excited to see The Balconies again after catching a glimpse of them during the CMW. As soon as they started playing, The Balconies drew a crowd, but the heat was getting to people, so most ended up passively observing while ducking into shelter. It didn’t stop The Balconies from delivering a killer performance. I have to say that the band is getting better and better with every gig they do. Jacquie was electric on stage and her vocals were simply amazing.

 

 

 

The Faceless – 4:20 PM – Jagermeister Stage @ Market Square

The Faceless SCENE Fest

The Faceless SCENE Fest 2013

Sex Appeal 6/10

Originality 10/10

Stage Presence 7/10

Musical Ability 10/10

Crowd Reaction 7/10

Total Score: 8/10

 

The Faceless drew in a decent crowd for the heat that we were facing. There was a moshpit going most of the time. The energy however, was not there. The guys were bummed out that their vocalist couldn’t make it, Michael Keene (guitar/vocals) had problems with his monitor, and most of the people in the crowd wanted to go back to the cool of indoor venues. Personally, I enjoyed their set despite all these complications. The music of The Faceless is an intricate mix of influences and styles, ranging from death metal to jazz. I’m looking forward to seeing them again. (interview coming soon!)

 

Cai.ro – 5:20 PM @ Rockford’s

Cairo SCENE Fest

Cairo SCENE Fest 2013 -Photo: Ashutosh Jha

Sex Appeal 10/10

Originality 7/10

Stage Presence 6/10

Musical Ability 9/10

Crowd Reaction 2/10

Total Score: 6.8/10

 

Cai.ro are a band to watch for this year. Playing multiple festivals and securing a spot on Beau’s Summer Mix Tape makes it seem as though Cai.ro is popping up everywhere in 2013. I was expecting a lot from them after their amazing performance at the CMW. However, the sound at Rockford’s was terrible!  The sound guy didn’t know what he was doing during their set which rendered the music into a cacophony of noise. That obviously influenced the crowd, as people sadly walked out during the set. The people who remained were taking a break from the outside and indulging in cold beer. Cai.ro’s keyboardist took on the responsibilities of the bassist, I wonder if it’s permanent and how it will influence their live performances in the future. I hope they will have better luck with the venue next time. (interview coming soon!)

 

 The British Columbians – 6:10 PM @ Rockford’s

The British Columbians SCENE Fest

The British Columbians SCENE Fest 2013 -Photo: Darrell Shelley

Sex Appeal 7/10

Originality 8/10

Stage Presence 10/10

Musical Ability 9/10

Crowd Reaction 4/10

Total Score: 7.6/10
The British Columbians had the same problems with the sound at this place. I didn’t even realize they had keyboards at first and my ears wanted to run away and die in some quiet place. I was actually quite baffled by the sound quality at first, because earlier in the day I was walking across the street from Rockford’s and Time Giant caught my attention, but I had no time to go in. I now suspect that The British Columbians were sounding pretty great from across the street too. Other than the poor sound-mixing from a FOH engineer who’s mix was so loud you’d need to be across the street to enjoy it,  the band had a lot of solid rock tunes. The guys are energetic on stage, they just need a venue to match their style. I hope to see them again. (interview coming soon!)

 

 

 

Obey The Brave – 7:10 PM - Jagermeister Stage @ Market Square

Obey The Brave SCENE Fest

Obey The Brave SCENE Fest 2013

Sex Appeal 6/10

Originality 5/10

Stage Presence 9/10

Musical Ability 7/10

Crowd Reaction 9/10

Total Score: 7.2/10

 

This Metalcore outfit got the crowd nice and ready for Comeback Kid. The audience finally got hyped up and lively, people were moshing and jumping around. This is also when Jagermeister girls were spotted giving out trucker hats (where were they 4 hours ago???). Metalcore is not my cup of tea, but I gotta give Obey The Brave props for working the stage like pros.

 

Comeback Kid – 8:50 PM - Jagermeister Stage @ Market Square

Comeback Kid SCENE Fest

Comeback Kid SCENE Fest 2013 – Photo: Darrell Shelley

Sex Appeal 8/10

Originality 8/10

Stage Presence 10/10

Musical Ability 8/10

Crowd Reaction 10/10

Total Score: 8.8/10

 

Canadian hardcore band Comeback Kid brought the house down! This is what everyone was waiting for and they didn’t disappoint. The Market Square was packed with people jumping, moshing and crowd-surfing. It finally felt like a real festival. The band left everything on the stage, the singer was super engaging, constantly reaching out to touch the fans and pushing them to sing along. Best show of the night! (click HERE for interview!)

 

Teenage X – 9:20 PM -@ Mikado

Teenage X SCENE Fest

Teenage X SCENE Fest 2013

Sex Appeal 8/10

Originality 6/10

Stage Presence 9/10

Musical Ability 8/10

Crowd Reaction 2/10

Total Score: 6.6/10

 

Teenage X were playing to an almost empty venue, as most of the people were still at the Market Square, catching the last bits of Comeback Kid and waiting for Tokyo Police Club. That didn’t stop them from having fun and bringing their raw punk energy to the festival. Hopefully they’ll have better luck with the crowd next time!

 

Unbelievers – N/A - Mikado

Surprisingly to all, even the sound guy, The Unbelievers cancelled their set last minute.

 

After 10 PM St Catharine’s turned into a party town, with groups of festival-goers roaming the streets from bar to bar. Some were looking to get drunk, others were trying to catch glimpses of the late bands. I caught a bit of the Pomegranate Tiger’s set, and I have to say that I was very impressed with this progressive metal band. I am hoping to catch them for longer than two songs the next time around.

Overall, I wished that the crowd of the festival would have been more varied. I wanted to see rockers and true metalheads, perhaps some families with kids, not just the younger “core” crowd. It was still fun, driving to another city, mingling with the bands and experiencing SCENE Fest 2013.

Review By: Raya Morrison
Photos By: Stephanie Tran (*except where noted)

THE SCENE


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