(By: Angela McLean)
If you were driving down the Gardiner Expressway this past Saturday, August 6 and wondered what all of the commotion was next door at the Fort York: Garrison Common, know that you missed out on a great event. TIME Festival, presented by Embrace, was a party of epic proportions, bringing out the most on-demand indie pop, rock and electronic artists, including Run the Jewels, Broods, Kehlani and Bob Moses, for a day filled with good music and good vibes.
The day started early, with the first acts hitting the stage at 12 p.m. One of the first acts on the main TIME stage, Toronto four-piece Frigs, truly got the crowd going with their grungy rock sound. The band’s frontgirl Bria Salmena rocked the vocals on songs off their EP ‘Slush’ and proved that girl power is alive and well.
Keeping the local domination going, Mississauga-based K.I.D followed up with one of the best sets of the afternoon. Equal parts genuine, entertaining, engaging and simply talent-filled, “siblings” Kara and Bobby rolled through a packed setlist of songs that each had a unique story to tell. Some of these stories were more obvious and relatable than others – “I Can’t Sleep At Night” is something any stressed out student will understand. The setlist featured five new songs from the band’s upcoming debut album as well as the band’s successful single “I Wish I Was Your Cigarette,” which got the most applause from the growing afternoon crowd.
A short distance away on the OverTIME stage, the spotlight was on all things electronic, house and dance. However, Kirk Knight and Nyck Caution broke the barriers (almost literally) with their rap-meets-dance performance. They represented their Pro Era hip-hop collective well throughout the set, instigating multiple “Pro Era” chants, and paid tribute to their friend and fellow collective member, rapper Capital STEEZ, who passed away in 2012. They also promoted Joey Bada$$, another fellow collective member, and invited the hyped crowd to join them at his set later that night.
Tucked away in the shade over by the OverTIME stage was a third stage, sponsored by Panasonic, promoting rising electronic artists, some of whom had won a contest to perform. Hidden Kingdoms entertained an intimate but passionate crowd with a quality set that could be worthy of an OverTIME performance next year.
As the clock approached the evening hours, the festival’s top-billers took to the stage and gave everyone their money’s worth. Jonas Rathsman, a Swedish electronic producer, took over the OverTIME stage and everyone’s hearts, dropping a full hour of nonstop dance floor bangers with smooth transitions that kept people bopping. On the TIME stage, English indie rock band Everything Everything put on the show of a lifetime for their dedicated fans, including a young girl named Kamilla who held up a drawing for the guys and got to meet them backstage after their set.
Joey Bada$$ drew one of the biggest crowds of the day and also likely the highest count of mosh pits that broke out. After bringing Kirk Knight and Nyck Caution out for several songs, he performed his new hit single “Devastated” twice and teased a return trip to Toronto “real, real soon.”
A true R&B queen, Kehlani delivered a showstopping set filled with high-energy anthems but also some slower, emotionally-driven ballads. The crowd grew exponentially as her powerful voice spread across the grounds and she sped through old-time fan favourites and songs off her 2015 album ‘You Should Be Here.’ A highlight was Kehlani’s performance of her new single “CRZY,” a song that just came out a few weeks ago and is insanely catchy.
Another highly-buzzed about set was Broods. The New Zealand duo, siblings Georgia and Caleb Nott, recently released their sophomore album ‘Conscious’ and it was the driving force of their upbeat main stage set. Songs like “Free” and “Couldn’t Believe” drew the biggest reception from the crowd, but their 2014 single “Bridges” found its way into the encore and transformed the set into one massive sing-along.
The final two acts of the day, Run the Jewels on the TIME stage and Bob Moses on the OverTIME stage, brought the incredible day to a flawless close with a half-dose of brash rap and hip-hop and a half-dose of chill, lyric-driven, groovy house music.
Overall, despite a semi-slow start to the day the grounds filled up quickly and with a responsive crowd and solid line-up, there is no denying that TIME Festival was a success. Even the artists got involved in the fun – the members of Sahara roamed the festival grounds throughout the day interacting with fans and catching the different acts, and Broods tweeted a picture from the crowd while watching Everything Everything.
Let the countdown to TIME Festival 2017 begin!
What was your favourite part of this year’s TIME Festival? Tweet us your thoughts @RUtvNews, and stay tuned for our interviews with K.i.D, Jonas Rathsman and Broods!