Montreal rap crew the Posterz started things off with a bang, or squirt, more like, blasting the crowd with Super Soakers continuously. Asking the crowd to "make some noise for anybody with tits!" they weren't afraid to shake things up, to the point that they began changing to "make this fuckin' boat bounce!" It wasn't all about antics though; the trio and their hype men had the whole crowd nodding and waving to their speaker-rumbling "Bass Song" by the end.
While DeMarco upheld his hosting end of the bargain in between acts, he joined his band mate Pierce McGarry on bass for his band Walter TV, which also includes joint drummer Joe McMurray. Jokingly announcing themselves as Jumanji, McGarry's warped psych-pop tunes exuded some proper sunny, feel-good vibes. They proved to be the exemplary boat party band.
Edmonton's Calvin Love, currently on tour with Mac, captivated the crowd with his debonair yet distorted garage pop. He seemed amused by playing on a boat, but the ideal venue would be a poorly lit underground club at three in the morning. Still, he rocked the house nice and hard, making quite the impression on everyone.
A 30-minute delay in the cruise's start time forced PS I Love You to rush their headline set, and they appeared a bit frazzled with only 20 minutes to work with. But they pulled it off like champs, despite singing guitarist Paul Saulnier warning the crowd of his seasickness by announcing, "Front row, you're getting puked on." With a month to go before the release of their new album, For Those Who Stay, they previewed some but mostly gave in to requests for older material. Unfortunately, the band were cut short by NXNE staff, but not before Saulnier used a beer bottle to fret slide.
It may not have lived up to the Bruise Cruise Festival's depraved reputation, but for a beautiful Saturday afternoon, there was no better place to be in Toronto.