Please note that this entry was written in June 2009. I just needed a good entry to kick things off on here in order to test the process. :)
Festival started at 12, entered at 12:15, but from the line in was able to see...
The Johnstones (12:00) - Fun, 15-minute set. Friend of mine knows the band personally as they went to school with us but this was a good way to start the day; surprised they didn't have a longer set since it was pretty upbeat. Was able to get in and enjoy my two sandwiches during their last few songs.
Still Life Still (12:35) - Not bad, pretty much what you'd expect from a 12:35 side stage band.
Arkells (1:30) - I have a feeling they're in that "good, not great" category, but I really really hope these guys do well. Love the lead singers voice and their potential. "Oh, The Boss Is Comin'" blew the crowd away, great tune!
The Stills (2:20) - I was restless during this set since everyone I was with had visited the beer tent already, but just when I kept trying to pull away for a drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) I was intrigued to stay. They put on a good set that I literally couldn't pull myself away from. I'm surprised they didn't do "Still In Love Song" as well since it's what I associate with them.
K-OS (3:10) - I missed it. I was walking around (got that Coke), met up with some friends who were sitting on the hill at the time and kinda used this set for downtime and listened to it. Seemed okay, I've always been on the fence with him.
Metric (4:10) - Wow. I'm sold. I knew the singles, like the singles, but some reason didn't GET the hype around them. Emily is great and a very charming front woman; I like her and their set was solid. Surprised at how muddy this one got (big mudslide, stage right where I was) but I think the crowd was really just wanting to let loose.
Alexisonfire (5:40) - Watched this from the beer tent (where there was female mud wrestling occurring feet away from me) and since I've never been too big on them it doesn't seem like I missed much. One guy on the TTC home was saying how their set was disappointing since they didn't play much off the new album. I prefer Alexisonfire to K-OS, but since I had beer tickets I wanted to get those before planting for Billy Talent.
Moneen (6:40) - Saw about 20 minutes of their set while en route to the porto potty (4 beers in less than an hour, plus the Coke earlier did the trick). All I remember of their set was them telling the crowd right near the end that they've been bummed out since 2007 for not getting many gigs. Buzzkill!
AFI (7:10) - Remains a mystery. I managed to get about 10th row for this (and Billy Talent) and no one really knew their material, just the couple hits. I'll summarize my thoughts on this choice after...
Billy Talent (8:50) - Knocked it out of the freakin' park! Awesome set! Was expecting the dramatic opening as with the arena tour and they just kind of came on (not even opening with "This Is How It Goes", which was the usual for the shows I'd seen) and got to business. Interesting, but great choice of playing "The Ex" second, their forgotten single I think. I could plow through song by song and review but I had a blast, enough said. :) Had heard the new album in the last week or so and as a result was one of the few in my area familiar with "Devil On My Shoulder" and "Saint Veronika", still hits with the crowd. I truly believe they didn't intend to do that encore of "Nothing To Lose". They had done all the songs they usually do live and always wrap up with "Try Honesty" then finish the encore with "Red Flag", but I'm so glad they didn't leave the crowd disappointed with the lack of encore. Loved their set; had a stressful week and this was great to let loose, also meet some cool people in the process.
I feel as if the order of the bands was set up to bring people into the park earlier. The Arkells are more topical than freakin' AFI, but having them open was a good choice instead of The Stills which, as successful as they have been, don't have as much draw-value to the common "Edge listener" (at least in my mind). So Arkells, Stills, Metric/K-OS could've gone either way. Alexisonfire could have easily been before Billy Talent but I feel as if AFI was put there to provide some balance for the crowd to come down from. Of course, Billy Talent closing made the most sense.
Really like how easily we were allowed to bring food/beverages in; I brought two sandwiches with me but friends of mine had a ton of snacks. I'm not sure which beer arrangement I prefer: a) buying tickets for beer THEN buying the beer using the tickets or b) just going through one person. This weekend was a bit of a clusterfuck, but in hindsight it probably was better how they did it. V-Fest '08 was a mess.
I feel I got my money's worth with Metric/Billy Talent, Arkells, Stills, and even the minor set by the Johnstones.