Wavelength Music Series Summer Thing arrived in force this weekend at the Lithuanian House; two nights, two floors of nasty, well-organized music.
The downstairs stage, with wild chandeliers and a wall of mirrors, evoked feelings of the Owls Club on Dovercourt if you’ve ever been there. The upper floor was a huge banquet hall with a cavernous open ceiling.
Between the stages a food vendor was selling delicious patties and assorted things. Last time I snacked at a venue was for the Feast in the East music series so that was a real treat. There were also cool installations and interactive areas, very fun.
But to take you back a few steps, my cat got sick — I guess he ate something in the garden — and started getting really pissed off the day before the festival. He’s never been sick before, and after a late night visit to the emergency vet, the poor little one was sent home to sit up. He chose to do it in a strange place in the apartment for about 36 hours, making very sad sounds. I had to give him water with an eyedropper.
The good news is that, by the end of Monday, he is fully recovered. But unfortunately that meant I didn’t get to see as much of the festival as I would have liked, so this review will be a little more based on pictures than words! All’s well That ends well.
I’ll start at the bottom with the first performance I caught: Dreamcrusher. It’s a noise rock project that’s complete sensory overload. It’s very intense… horror music vibes.
There’s normally a lot of smoke machine, or at least there was when I saw Dreamcrusher’s set at the EE festival in 2018 (which was a brilliantly terrifying performance).
Maybe the venue was worried about the fire alarms going off or something, but even without the fog cover, the strobe lights were powerful enough to blow up the room and plunge it into darkness. A very physical and entertaining performance, sometimes singing in support of black trans performers, demanding audience participation and flying around the crowd carried by a sea of hands.
Seeing Dreamcrusher is great, but it’s noisy so earplugs are advised.
The different levels of Wavelength Summer Thing each had their own curation, and bands alternated between floors immediately, which meant that each night’s music was jam-packed. Cadence Weapon played both days and also selected an array of acts for the main stage, such as Ouri.
Ouri had a soothing voice and there was lovely cello and loop work. It was a complementary change to the harsh Dreamcrusher tones!
Montreal label and collective, Mothland, staged downstairs on night two. I caught Only; an enigmatic electronic music performance with a synchronized light show.
land of moths working with a range of bands such as Hot Garbage and Yoo Doo Right, the latter playing this festival. Unfortunately, I couldn’t catch Yoo Doo Right’s performance, but they recently killed The Garrison in Toronto when I saw them – a huge wall of psychedelic rock sound, playing in an interesting sonic space. Worth checking out.
Backxwash, a Zambian-Canadian rapper, was my choice of music through the festivities, and it was an interstellar performance. I Filmed and Edited a Wavelength Live Session in 2021 for Toronto Psychedelic Rockers Kali horse, and it was Backxwash’s own live session at that same festival where I first became aware of her. I’ve watched it many times since, and you can too here.
Backxwash blew me away – amazing presence and vocals and slamming hits.
In general, the stage upstairs was much quieter than downstairs, but Cadence Weapon played with presence and class. It was my first time seeing Cadence and it was a display of effortless fluidity.
Other than that, I caught Prince Innocence which was intimate and uplifting; synthy house atmosphere.
So once again Wavelength Music has shown they have the wherewithal to promote a great mix of music spanning multiple diverse genres. I’m crossing my fingers that my cat stays healthy and next time I can catch some more.
Check out their upcoming Wavelength Music lineup here.