Collectively and un-unanimously deemed one of Canada's best curated small music festival's, this year's attendees of Sappyfest in Sackville, New Brunswick (known for it's surprise guests) couldn't possibly have expected artists on this order of magnitude. Word thankfully leaked molasses slowly that this years Grammy award winners for Album Of The Year, Arcade Fire, were unloading a 53' ft trailer on the main drag of Bridge St. and setting up in a small tent for a couple hundred people under the guise of Shark Attack!
Half way across the country in the nation's cultural capital of Toronto two scant days earlier I chanced across festival co-founder Julie Doiron (formerly member of Eric's Trip, now properly a solo artist with a bevy of collaborators) at Ronnie's Local 069 in the heart of Kensington Market. Now a registered non-profit organization, SappyFest Incorporated, the festival was initially founded in 2006 by Doiron and her business partners in Sappy Records; Jon Claytor and Paul Henderson. Julie who splits her time between rural New Brunswick and downtown Toronto was clearly chuffed with this years lineup (most notably Vancouver's Ladyhawk, and some more obvious bets like The Sadies, Chad Van Gaalen and one of her collaborators Dan Romano, from Shotgun & Jaybird, appearing with his own band). As in previous years one could have safely taken her caginess over 'surprise guests' to mean any number of her old soldiers in arms from the Halifax Pop Explosion days (ie. Sloan, Thrush Hermit or member Joel Plaskett). Although given the fact that the Arcade Fire were playing Dartmouth a couple of days later, in hindsight (were it not for the appearance 'success' wise), tour routing nerds could have stumbled on this possibility more plainly.
Here's some fan video of Neighborhood #3/ Lies the last two songs of their by all accounts towering 90 minute set.
Arcade Fire, Sappyfest, Sackville, NB - 07/29/11
Ready to Start
Neighborhood #2 (Laika)No Cars Go
City With No Children
The Suburbs (Continued)
Month of May
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
We Used to Wait
Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)