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Dog Day Afternoon (Metric & Friends)

Clear blue skies, the city skyline as a backdrop, and a massive sound system make for one heck of a rock show. These set the stage for Saturday's Salad Days Festival: Dog Day Afternoon 2006 - a full day of live indie music in the heart of the Toronto at the historic Fort York with performances by Land of Talk, Wintersleep, Holy F*ck, Electric Six, The Secret Machines, The Fiery Furnaces and local favourite, headliner, and host Metric.

The heat, blazing sun, and absence of shade no doubt kept festival-goers in chill mode with much of the early excitement coming not from revelry and dancing but instead from lazying about, bopping heads, rumours of delicious perogies being served, and talk of BSS, Haydn, K-os, and Ron Sexsmith being spotted in the crowds. The Amsterdam beer was flowing, the BBQs fired up, and all day there was no waiting in lineups (which can likely be chalked up to a combination of the festival being well-equipped and staffed, and perhaps a lower than expected turnout). Fort York is a great place to see a show, and I hope it's used more often in the future.

Highlight performances included analog/techno/noise/jammers Holy Fu*k (interviewed by blogTO back in October, back from a tour of the UK), who helped turn some of the lawn-dwelling sun bathers into full-body, convulsing dancers. Live is the way to see these guys!

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Continue for more show highlights and photos of all of the bands...

Also getting points for beating the heat was Detroit's Electric Six, especially lead vocalist Dick Valentine, who showed off his love for Canada by sporting a Molson Canadian cap, and getting the crowd into it with an arsenal of animated stage antics including an impressive full set of mid-performance nose-to-the-floor pushups.

The story of the day, however, was clearly Metric who outright stole the show. The band quickly whipped the crowd into a frenzy, and Emily Haines was in her usual, fine rock star form. Under an intense show of white and blue lights, Metric exuded energy from start to finish, and under the cooler night sky, the crowd of adoring fans finally broke out as well. Metric's encore was simply sensational. An awesome extended version of "Dead Disco" was further greatened by Haines seemingly off-the-cuff, somewhat angst-ridden speech. Standing there at Fort York (the birthplace of our great city), with the Gardiner Expressway off to the right, listening to Haines rather intelligent socio-political ramblings reminded me of the last time I was on the grounds!

Metric: 9.5/10
Festival: 8/10

Photography and review by Jerrold Litwinenko.

Land of Talk:

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Wintersleep:

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Holy F**k:

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Electric Six:

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Secret Machines:

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Fiery Furnaces:

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Metric:

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(More photos)


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