Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Two nights under purple lights

A look back at the DalFest weekend

Hey Rosetta! takes the stage at this year's Dal Fest (Photo by Amin Helal)
Hey Rosetta! takes the stage at this year’s Dal Fest (Photo by Amin Helal)

A friend told me that to write about a show or festival isn’t about explaining the show to those who weren’t there, but about instilling nostalgia for those who were. And there’s a lot to be nostalgic about.

The two nights of DalFest held some captivating performances, and the openness of the festival meant that students from all over were coming together to spill beer on one another, lie in the grass with one another and shake and twist with one another.

The weekend felt almost reflective of an out-of-control party: Shad pulls the first night’s crowd together with a high-energy and high-volume hip-hop set. The bass-end vibrates the port-o-potties. He rips into an a capella verse and returns to the wild crowd for an encore. The party continues.

It all seems to build and build, and after his set, the crowd disperses into small streamlets; the quad is teeming with students, each bound for a different party.

With Saturday comes the hangover. The messy breakfast and half-awake conversation. Swapping stories of the night past, eager for the next round to begin, but with a little more trepidation than the previous night.

The mania has subsided; the party is starting to wind down. Alvvays takes the stage to a noticeably thinner crowd, but those that are there are singing along every word. Preparing for their song Marry Me, Archie, the band’s leading vocalist Molly Rankin says Archie is in the crowd.

When Hey Rosetta! starts up, the crowd sways in unison. The mood is different than the previous night; whereas Shad had been the initial madness of a big party, Hey Rosetta! was more akin to the end of the night: when all the booze is gone and all that’s left is the final cling to the fading night. They cap their performance with a confetti cannon that showers on the crowd below.

By Sunday, the stage is dismantled and the Quad is cleaned. Classes are soon to resume and the Tim’s line grows. All that’s really left is the nostalgia for the craziness of the weekend.

Mat Wilush
Mat Wilush
Mat Wilush once went to see Agent Orange on the outskirts of Toronto, where the beer was salty and drunken teenagers took turns sitting in a prop electric chair. The music had aged poorly. A mohawk’d middle-ager danced through the first couple songs, but quickly tired out. There just isn’t much room for surf rock in the world anymore. What next? Mat Wilush wants to know. Mat is the Gazette's Arts Editor. Follow him on Twitter at @wilushwho and email him at arts@dalgazette.com.

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