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Edgefest 2013 Review – Toronto – Don’t Fuck With The Truck!


Edgefest 2013 Review – Toronto – Don’t Fuck With The Truck!

Monster Truck puts the edge back in EDGEFEST


Monster Truck at Edgefest 2013

Monster Truck at Edgefest 2013 – Cred: Darrell Shelley

The day started slowly at Downsview Park in Toronto.   Fans were taking their time to arrive when July Talk opened the main stage with one of the best sets of the day at 1:30pm.    The unpredictable weather was playing havoc switching from beautifully sunny to full on rain, throughout the day.   By 3pm the field was still looking fairly sparse with only a few thousand bodies roaming about.

The technical aspects regarding sound and lights were professional and the stages appeared to be pretty solid.   However,  there were no video screens to be found anywhere on the 240 hectare concert venue.   From the VIP section it was hard to distinguish what each member of any given band was doing or wearing.

Lots people were chugging beers in nearby parking lots.   After investigating the price of alcohol inside the venue, it was easy to see why this was the case.    Tall cans of Bud, Bud Light and Keith’s were being sold for the outrageous price of $11, YES ELEVEN dollars each!!!

“Highway robbery!” – said concert goer Tanya Goodmanis

“I paid quite a bit for these beers but it’s worth it, some good bands here today.” – said another attendee named Jeremy

The $4 surcharge at the ATMs set up throughout the venue didn’t help to lighten the spirits of the still sober late afternoon crowd.  However, free samples of Dr. Pepper and Canadian Club Whiskey products certainly lightened the mood.

As the evening turned into night the music got better, the expensive beer kicked in, the smell of hemp filled the air and the festival became about the music.   We were pleased to find that you could get a decent meal from most food vendors for around $6, while enjoying the positive vibes radiating from both stages.   However, finding a place to wash your hands was another story.

The dozen or so hand washing stations that were set up in the GA washroom area were running out of water by 4pm.      The washrooms in the VIP section were much better with no line ups, but also had no attendants.    By the time The Lumineers hit the stage, the washrooms looked like they’d been hit by a hurricane of drunkenness and toilet paper.

The security seemed to be a mercurial bunch with, some being polite and professional while others were unnecessarily aggressive towards working media.  This left a sour taste in our mouths.  Perhaps some were not properly trained which allows for a pointing of the finger and benefit of the doubt.

As the rain pelted down on Downsview park, The Lumineers opened with their rendition of the CCR classic ‘Have You Ever Seen the Rain’.   This unexpected opening was one of only two things that stood out during their performance.  The rest of what The Lumineers brought to Edgefest was a predictably drab performance that was enough to please the die hards but didn’t stop most people from leaving early.

The Lumineers Edgefest 2013 - Cred: Darrell Shelley

The Lumineers Edgefest 2013 – Cred: Darrell Shelley

Perhaps it was Wesley Schultz’s statement at the beginning of their hit song ‘Hey Ho’:

“Put your cell phones down.  We’re all in this together,  so put your cell phones down!”, which made people notice that soggy feeling you get between your toes with waterlogged shoes.

Whatever the case as soon as the last chord was struck from their hit song, most of the audience had had enough and ran for shelter from the rain or headed towards the exit.      The band attempted to salvage by playing a stunningly cool version of Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues (this was the second thing that stood out), but few people stopped to notice.

You can blame it on the rain, all you want.  However, when RUSH played Quebec City two and half weeks ago the torrential downpour didn’t deter fans until they pulled the plug due to safety concerns.

As the headliners for Edgefest, we were really hoping that The Lumineers would bring an exceptional live show. It’s needless to say that this didn’t happen.   With great songs and no real show, The Lumineers would perhaps be better suited to a more intimate setting on a smaller stage.

“One more and we’re out of here” said Schultz as The Lumineers closed out the wet night with their second single the well known ‘Stubborn Love’ followed by the lesser known ‘Flapper Girl’.

While they did what they were supposed to do, don’t expect anything different or new from The Lumineers live show. It sounds the same as you’d expect it to with very few surprises thrown in.



Mother Mother:  7.2/10

Mother Mother Edgefest 2013 - Cred: Jason Hodgins

Mother Mother Edgefest 2013 – Cred: Jason Hodgins

Stage Presence: 7
Image/Sex Appeal: 7
Musical Ability: 7
Originality: 7
Crowd Reaction: 8

“It’s a nice day!” said frontman Ryan Guldmond as the rain started again.   The front half of the crowd were really into Mother Mother as they played fan favorites ‘Baby Don’t Dance’ and ‘Bit By Bit’, while the rest of the audience simply stood and looked on from afar.

One memorable moment worth mentioning was when the band played ‘In Bloom’ by Nirvana.   It was during this moment that Mother Mother managed to tear down the barrier between the die hard fans and everyone else.


July Talk: 8.2/10


Mother Mother Edgefest 2013 - Cred: Jason Hodgins

Mother Mother Edgefest 2013 – Cred: Jason Hodgins

Stage Presence: 8
Image/Sex Appeal: 9
Musical Ability: 9
Originality: 8
Crowd Reaction: 7

Wearing a wedding dress and a construction helmet Leah Fay entered the stage and immediately stole the hearts of the audience.

“Take off your sunglasses so I can see your eyes” she repeated over and over.

During their short set, July Talk played the best of their material including fan favorites ‘Paper Girl’ and ‘Guns + Ammunition’.    It was a tough set to follow and the second best performance of the night.   Leah later jumped up to perform “Ice Hotels” with Dinosaur Bones, showing that it was not a competition.


Monster Truck: 9/10

Mother Mother Edgefest 2013 - Cred: Jason Hodgins

Mother Mother Edgefest 2013 – Cred: Jason Hodgins

Stage Presence: 9
Image/Sex Appeal: 9
Musical Ability: 9
Originality: 9  (few bands are doing this in 2013!)
Crowd Reaction: 9

Edge fest has long been known as a Rock n Roll festival.   However this year there weren’t many riff based Rock Gods on the bill to save face. With the likes of Folk rockers The Lumineers and Band Of Horses on the main stage and Alt Country/Rock The Treasures and Twin Forks on the side stage, Monster Truck had more responsibility on their shoulders than they probably realized.

This was set up to be a blunder of poor line up choice in which the band would be playing to an uninterested audience or the Truck’s chance to wake everyone up and steal the show.  After seeing Monster Truck open for Guns N Roses at Festival D’ete in Quebec City two weeks ago, we knew what to expect.

On our way to the venue we canvassed the crowd and found that there was overwhelming support for Monster Truck. While exiting the subway at Downsview station one concert goer specifically stated:

“We’re going to see Monster Truck!  Are there any other bands playing?”

“I don’t know any of the bands except for Monster Truck!” said another concert goer

“I love The Neighbourhood and I’m a big Monster Truck fan” said concert goes Jeremy

Another concert goer asked ‘Are they gonna be playing ‘Seven Seas Blues?’

Funny enough the non nonchalant easy going Hamilton boys from Monster Truck were walking throughout the crowd and soaking up the sunshine in the late afternoon.   Only in Canada will people warship a band and not know what they look like. In true DIY fashion, we saw guitarist Jeremy Widerman toting a Rubbermaid container across the field an hour before his set, as usual he was easily approachable and friendly.

A few lucky fans managed to recognize with the band.

Anticipation was high and Monster Truck was ready to play the closest thing to a hometown crowd since they played the Sound Academy with Alexisonfire back in December.

“You guys ready to put some edge back in this fest?”   said Widerman as Monster Truck broke into the best set of the night.

The set touched on much from their latest release Furiosity including the epic “For The Sun” followed by “Righteous Smoke” and “Seven Seas Blues”.

Between the good riffs, loyal fans and goodwill with mother nature, The Truck rolled over everyone in attendance as small mosh pits broke out to compliment the head bobbing that contagiously ensued while the rain held off.

“The best band by far was Monster Truck, I totally thought they stole the show, they were amazing!”  – said one listener who called into the Edge 102.1 earlier today.

Playing a blistering 60 minute set that ended with fans calling for an encore, Monster Truck clearly and unequivocally stole the show and put the edge back into Edgefest.


Review: Darrell Shelley
Photos: Jason Hodgins & Darrell Shelley

Click HERE – for more great photos!




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