Diamond Rings Island Stage, Guelph ON, July 26

Diamond Rings Island Stage, Guelph ON, July 26
Photo: Atsuko Kobasigawa
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After crashing the stage during METZ's set, glam popster Diamond Rings (aka John O'Regan) stepped out to thunderous applause. He had ditched the denim for an all-white (save for the studded leather vest) get-up, while his band had coordinated on head-to-toe black with matching sunglasses. The tent was packed for the show — perhaps a testament to the fact that the band met while attending the University of Guelph. O'Regan made sure the crowd knew this, expressing his gratitude to the city and giving a shout out to local venue Jimmy Jazz. Opening the set with "All the Time" and cruising through crowd pleasers like "A to Z" and "Put Me On," O'Regan's energy never faltered, dancing and playing guitar while delivering strong, consistent vocals. "I'm Just Me" was the undisputed highlight of the set, with the crowd dancing wildly and singing along to the Free Dimensional single... until the generator cut out, leaving everyone in the dark. It was a minor stutter in a solid set and when the technical difficulties cleared up, Diamond Rings came back out to deliver for two more songs, closing with "Day & Night." It was a triumphant close to a set that could have ended early or lost steam, but O'Regan pulled through with characteristic style.

Check out our gallery of photos from Hillside 2013 here.