Campers, glampers, and concert goers poured through the gates last night at Live at Squamish as the music festival kicked off with evening concerts on the Garibaldi Stage. The Tragically Hip performed their sound check in front of a small group of media and special guests over on the Stawamus Stage with the iconic Chief once again providing an impressive backdrop.
The marketplace has returned with hats, scarves, shirts, and trinkets available for sale and the food truck line-up includes a selection of Jamaican smoothies, lemonades, poutines, and Triple O’s. Beer gardens are stocked and the impressive VIP areas have been constructed.
Things get underway today at 3:00pm when Young Pacific opens on the Meadow Stage. The Tragically Hip will close out the evening on the Stawamus Stage while Chromeo will play into the night starting at 10:30pm on the Garibaldi Stage.
I will be covering the festival today and tomorrow with updated blog posts and by using the tag #VMSquamish on Twitter. Follow Virgin Mobile Canada on Twitter and Facebook for updates from the festival as well including highlights from their two-tiered VIP area for Virgin Mobile members.
John and I will post photos once today wraps up and then head out again tomorrow to do it all over again.
After an accident on the Sea to Sky Highway caused a multi-hour traffic jam, the show went on in Squamish. The line-up was set back by about 20-40 minutes but the Stawamus Stage quickly got on track while the Garibaldi Stage remained about 30 minutes behind until the end of the night.
John and I setup camp in the Virgin Mobile Members Lounge before heading out to catch the day’s talent. No music was missed due to the highway delays since the first acts weren’t on until after 3:00pm anyway. However by the time The Sheepdogs were half way through their set, the sun disappeared.
The Tragically Hip
The Hip took the stage once the sun ducked behind the mountains and cool summer breezes rushed through the valley. Throngs gathered in front of the Stawamus Stage for the quintessentially Canadian act and were treated to a solid set that sampled from the band’s vast catalog. Gord Downie danced with his microphone stand, ranted poetically at random, and made neighbourly comments to the crowd as though he just bumped into us all while stepping out onto his front porch on Sunday morning to pick up his paper.
The band was solid and creative, what you would expect after decades of playing together, and the audience ate it up. Lighters were sparked and waved in the air with approval as girlfriends bounced atop their boyfriends’ shoulders.
We’ve come to Live at Squamish every year and it’s been a slightly different experience each summer. The acts have always been enjoyable but I think they finally found the right complimentary mix of talent that had audiences marching from the Garibaldi Stage to the Stawamus Stage en masse to catch whoever was up next.
One stand-out performance was Charles Bradley, known as the Screaming Eagle of Soul. The 64 year old from Brooklyn, who used to moonlight as a James Brown impersonator, released his first album last year and had this crowd begging for more of his achingly good soul.
There was a good, positive vibe around today — between the eager teens, millennials with frisbees, and young families rocking out on picnic blankets. Here’s to another day of Live at Squamish tomorrow where more good times are to be had… in a big field.