BRIEFCASEFEST 2015, Toronto ON, June 5

Artwork by Mike Crossley.

Artwork by Mike Crossley.

Night 1

The word “diverse” doesn’t even begin to cut it. This bill was off the beaten path for sure, with a number of acts featured on both nights. Spanning a broad spectrum and encompassing many types of energy, all were dark, some were surprising. I tried to capture some of that energy in pictures. Below are the first I took of the night, featuring Godstopper, a Toronto quartet who always deliver a great live performance that seems to draw crowds magnetically, followed by Ayahuasca.

 

Quite an enjoyable and rare treat to see a musician play two sets back to back and watch their presence change. Hand it to Mike Simpson, who became like a hissing snake at times during the Ayahuasca set. As I heard a friend say after we all thoroughly basked in it, the band has now evolved into a kind of power trio. Every song is just that much more perfectly attuned.

Couch Slut

Couch Slut

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Couch Slut

My memory can’t help but make comparisons here; when the head-turningly named Couch Slut took full force, I had an almost instant flashback. Two years ago when this festival had its Night 1, a local act played and instilled almost the exact same electrified tension in the room. Rather a standout performance in both cases.

Well I sure was surprised at first, and continued to be, at the main vocal style that emerged out of Psalm Zero. A churning background of riffs leant itself to mellow melodies. Interesting contrasts and that’s just within the act. Comparing them to the next band is like having two different styles of beer and liking both of them, ya know… anyway the below pics of Brooklyn hardcore act Pyrrhon are the end of Night 1, 2015! Stay tuned for Night 2, same Hellbound time, same Hellbound channel…