Like Halloween, when the early October fogs start to roll in, and Christmas when the drug store starts playing "Jingle Bells" on November 1, it’s starting to feel like it’s almost here.
Yes, we’re talking about the Squamish Valley Music Festival, taking place August 8 to 10 at the Logger Sports Grounds and Hendrickson Fields. In anticipation of the big event—headlined by Eminem, Bruno Mars, and Arcade Fire—we’re spending the next few weeks rounding up local artists who’ll be playing the open-air party, and getting them to answer some important questions.
Like who they’ll be cueing up on the iPod for the Sea-to-Sky drive to the site, what they’ll be making sure to pack to make it through their set, the all-time dream-festival lineup, and who they plan to stalk backstage. Read on, but not before you pick up your Squamish Valley Music Festival ticket. The last thing you want to miss is today’s spotlighted act...
Vancouver-based quartet The Matinée is one of the hardest working bands in the local scene, having earned its stripes during a career spanning the last decade and beyond. The band's whiskey-infused style of roots-rock is guaranteed to get your body moving, no matter what the venue. In the run-up to their fourth appearance at the Squamish Valley Music Fest, guitarist, percussionist, and one-time Squamish resident Geoff Petrie answers our questionnaire and reveals his taste for black wine gums, how to get a decent night's sleep on one of the noisiest weekends of the year, and the deficiencies of modern log burling.
This list is one of my highlights from last year. The SVMF gets better every year and 2013 didn't disappoint.
Matt Mays "Dull Knife"
This guy... He embodies everything that is rock and roll in our country. He writes it, sings it, produces it—he lives it. He had every person in that Thursday night crowd swaying and singing along to this. "Give us grace, give us speed."
Jurassic 5 "Concrete Schoolyard"
One of the best sets of the weekend. These guys really know how to rock a crowd, and even in the early afternoon they had the attention of everybody in the crowd. This was one of the anthems of the weekend.
Dustin Bentall and The SMØKES "Pontiac"
This song to me is everything I like about Dustin's music. Sad to the point of tears, lamenting but beautiful and full of hope. With Kendal's sweet harmonies and a starry sky, it's hard to imagine a chorus easier to sing along with.
I'm not huge into house (or EDM or nu disco or whatever the hell this stuff is,) but I definitely had my moment in the laser light a few moons ago. This song has a massive intro, and maybe it was just a matter of perfect circumstance, but at that moment in the glow of the lights with some great friends, it was the perfect song.
QOTSA "Make It Wit Chu"
Maybe I was lost behind the main stage a little confused by the mushrooms and tequila, but I sang along to this one all by myself while trying to find my way out front to the crowd. It was one of those "good times by yourself" moments you have at a festival before re-joining the masses and partying the night away.
- Bring a towel, so that you can have a swim at the rec centre pool and feel like a human being after a night in the crowd and around the fire.
- A hat to keep that sun off your face (preferably a Matinée Young & Lazy trucker hat).
- Some shade. The artist camping has trees and therefore shade. This allows you to sleep past 7:30a.m. (which can be really important if you're up until 5:30). The general campground looked like a refugee camp beat down in the sun. Bring a canopy or a tarp to string up to shade your tent for the first few hours of sunlight or you'll be fading by 3 p.m. on day two.
I’d love to hang with...
Probs Shad. Dude is (from all accounts) pretty chill and pretty deep. No ego, just a good down to earth guy who's music is ultimately listenable. I'd love to dangle my feet off the stage and groove while he does his thing. Plus he knows my little pal Eli and that kid says Shad is good peeps.
First festival experience
Aside from Folk Fests and Stein Fests with the family, my first big outdoor show I went to without supervision was Canada Day 1993 at Thunderbird Stadium.
Serious CanCon action that day...
- Barenaked Ladies
- Violent Femmes
- Ned's Atomic Dustbin
- Sarah McLachlan
- Spirit of the West
- The Pursuit of Happiness
- Moxy Fruvous
The list goes on...
I distinctly remember cresting the top of the stadium seating and looking down at the stage. The crowd in front moving in waves like a mad frothing sea with whitecaps of crowd surfers moving in all directions. This changed my life. I b-lined it to the front and got up right away. I will always remember the moment I saw the energy a crowd could muster with the right music and energy on stage.
What's your fantasy festival lineup?
Tom Petty, Springsteen, Foo Fighters, Snoop, Cypress Hill, Biggie. Radiohead would play The Bends and OK Computer, then Michael Jackson would headline.
Oh, and Bear Mountain would play the after-party.
What’s your official rider request?
- Two bananas
- Some veggies with hummus and dill dip
- Some good ass cheese
- 12 bottles of MGD on ice (it may not be the best beer, but I have never met the day I couldn't knock back a dozen mill-dawgs)
- A bottle of Fireball whiskey
- One can of Diet Coke at 2 degrees Celsius
- A bag of just the black wine gums
- One really nicely rolled J for after the show
- Two Advils and a litre of coconut water for the morning
Trivia time: what’s Squamish’s official slogan?
It's probably the outdoor recreation capital of Canada or something, but I did live there when I turned 19. That was a while ago (before there was a Wal-Mart and a zillion young families). Back then it was "The town where every girl you hit on is somebody's little sister or ex-girlfriend". And it's where I learned to put up my dukes.
The festival takes place at Logger Sports Grounds and Hendrickson Fields. Quick—what’s your favourite logger sport?
I went to summer camp at Evans Lake in the Paradise Valley and I was pretty gangster at the log burling. Back then, you could actually stand up on the log and try to keep your balance and roll the other guy off. Now there is insurance and liability and it just ain't the same.
The Matinée plays the Squamish Valley Music Festival’s Stawamus Stage at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday (August 7).