Long Winter 2015/16: November18 November 2015 / by Jonathan Rodil (author)
Stepping in from the rising chill of the evening and into the venue, immediately brought the feel of a casual and laid back intimacy - a free roaming quality where anyone can interact or simply be a witness to the array of happenings within the Great Hall. Long Winter's began its fourth season this past Friday (November 13). Long Winter is known as one Toronto's premier events that is invaluable for its all-ages access and showcasing multiple creative disciplines. Along with the arts installations and performances, was a diverse set of musical acts, bringing a focus to new Canadian independent music; a feat that the folks at Long Winter have successfully managed to do since its inception. The night hosted a a variety of music from the experimental, chilled pop of Edmonton's Calvin Love to the Toronto-based post punk trio of Sahara, to name a few.
Over at the main stage, Elaquent orchestrated a set of finely-tuned conditions built for the dance floor. It was the electronic-hip-hop fused beats that did it. Not exactly conventional sounding, unique in its slightly-off feel that managed to keep an accessible rhythm, which clearly took hold of the crowd. A mix of material was played, where you could pick out remixes of Kendrick Lamar’s “Momma,” Kelis’ “Caught Out There,” which gave a contrasting rough edge to the set and a distinct take on the undeniable dance number of Amerie’s “One Thing.” Simply put, dancing shoes were necessary, yes even for that two step.
Dilettantes played over at the Black Box Theatre and for what was a short set, more or less hitting the 15 minute mark, but it was a strong, assured showing from the punk four piece. They began playing at a break-neck speed, hitting a rush of adrenaline that showed no signs of letting up. It was formed with a sense of urgency and precision that stood out. The unadulterated aggression of the music brought the joy of a raucous, chaos to the forefront. The lead vocalist had an electric presence on stage, maximized the space of the stage through a hyperactivity which led to stepping offstage on several occasions to let loose. This infectious energy bringing appropriate cause for a mosh pit that was definitely welcome. The set ended in an instant, at a peak, converting those in attendance, unwittingly or not.
The last act of the night over at the Black Box Theatre was local garage pop outfit, Pony. It was apparent that the late set time did not deter Pony from delivering a solid set of tunes which made for the last dance of the night. They stirred up summer sensations in the cold of late autumn with their insouciant, bubbling sweet melodies. This might make for a relaxed and dreamy sound, but there was a driving force within the guitars and drums combo, making you think otherwise. For those that stayed up to catch Pony’s set, it was a fitting send-off to the loose, carefree evening.