Akron/Family Island Stage, Guelph ON, July 27

Akron/Family Island Stage, Guelph ON, July 27
Photo: Atsuko Kobasigawa
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Experimental rock quartet Akron/Family put quality over quantity during their Hillside set, making the most of their brief stage time by playing six of their best tunes from across their discography. The band crafted rocking soundscapes filled with crunchy guitar riffs, shimmering synths and thundering percussion.

While problems with Miles Seaton's bass plagued the opening number, the set was more than redeemed with the second song, "Another Sky" from 2011's Akron/Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT. The song began with synths and a catchy Celtic riff from guitarist Seth Olinsky before Seaton's vocals kicked the song up a notch, ending in a three-minute crowd sing=along that got the entire tent clapping and hollering.

Despite playing such a powerful number early on, the band still had a lot of energy left in them, as evidenced in the percussive smackdown that opened "Everyone is Guilty," from 2009's Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free, featuring all four bandmates pounding the skins. The set closed with "Ed Is a Portal" from 2007's Love Is Simple, employing tribal shouting and surprisingly wordy vocals to finish the set off with a raucous finale. The band's freneticism occasionally got the best of them, but it was quickly commandeered into passion that enraptured the entire stage, definitely proving that, 11 years into their career, the band still has what it takes to create a spectacle.

Check out our gallery of photos from Hillside 2013 here.