The first day of Live at Squamish was indeed filled with happy times indeed in a very large field. It would appear that the music festival shook off any signs of a sophomore slump as the food carts were abundant, the beer garden was bigger, most importantly crowds were thicker at this second annual production.
The first acts didn’t take to the Garibaldi and Stawamus stages until almost 4:00pm on the first day of Live at Squamish but they packed a whallop between the time She Stole My Beer began and Girl Talk sent a spinning, dizzy, dance-crazy crowd home to bed at the end of the night.
There were surprises everywhere, from bands hanging out and signing autographs to impromptu shows and a sneak peek at Metric’s Emily Haines and James Shaw as they did an acoustic set on the Garibaldi Stage.
The biggest (pleasant) surprises came from two acts from Down Under. The first was Kim Churchill, an incredible one-man band that blew everyone away playing Led Zeppelin (he was on guitar, had a kick drum, and played harmonica). The second was the John Butler Trio.
I’ve heard them a few times on the radio but this “jam band” had the better part of the entire festival attendance up on their feet grooving to stand-up bass, slide guitar, and epic drum solos.
One of the world’s most popular DJ’s, Girl Talk, rounded out the night on the Stawamus stage with his incredible mashups that took you from Black Sabbath and Bon Jovi, to The Beastie Boys, Notorious B.I.G., Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and back to Metallica and Michael Jackson.
The start of Girl Talk’s set. Video by John Biehler.
The beats didn’t stop for a complete hour and as he does with all his shows, Girl Talk had festival goers on stage dancing beside him as he cranked out the mixes from his laptops.
Day Two Tips If you’re heading up to Live at Squamish on Sunday, August 21st, slap on the sunscreen and bring a hat (UV index will be high even if clouds are present). You can also bring in a small picnic lunch, if you are so inclined, and a bottle for water that is no more than 1.5 litres. All bags are searched and if you would like to partake in the beer garden, be sure to have 2 pieces of ID on you.
Also be sure to check out the Green Couch Sessions stage which is tucked away behind the Silent Disco area. They have acts coming through to play sets in their tent, some of which will hit the larger stages later in the day.
Rumour has it The Matinee will be there just before 6:00pm on Sunday. The Green Couch is also right next to the pop-up barber shop so gents can stop in for a shave n’ a haircut throughout the day.
Here’s to the second day of Live at Squamish 2011 that will see The Zolas, The Dudes, Metric, Weezer, Major Lazer and more perform between the evergreen-covered mountains of Squamish.