Virgin Festival Toronto Island Park, Toronto ON September 8 to 9

Virgin Festival Toronto Island Park, Toronto ON September 8 to 9
It was spiritual. Nothing less than baptism upgraded with electronics, confetti and a laser light show. At the centre of this circus stood Björk — in a ruffled tin-foil dress and alien-green face paint. And then we saw her set, and many became believers. Her gain was K-OS’ loss. His hangover knocked entire verses out of his hits. Out poured substandard filler: freestyles that ended with lines like "My parents are from Trinidad and Tobago.” He’d spend "100 grand just to buy a bottle of wine” and doesn’t give a fuck about being a drunk because we (the audience) are all sitting ducks — or so he says. M.I.A put our local boy shame. The highlight was the 100 or so people she invited onstage to study the effects single "Bird Flu” has on dancing. Ego-tripping musicians got a helping of humble pie when V Fest became the worst show Kid Koala ever played twice. Year one had bad planning and Gnarls Barkley result in a brief, but stirring 15-minute set. Year two had the sun melting his records, cutting his average set short. But the Kid was all apologies, and it wasn't even his fault. Arctic Monkeys were aloof, but the noose around their songs was tight even if most crowd sing-alongs stopped short of Favourite Worst Nightmare. "A Certain Romance” left many slack-jawed as the sun set, especially with its cheeky, ironic lyrics about new music being made to sell ringtones. In a word, Interpol imploded. But before Björk, let’s do Day Two. Stars were a dud, and Metric slipped a muumuu over their spiky rock, so it was a good thing that hyper-sexed electro rock stars Dragonette put out the day before. The Killers sounded messy, like someone muffled the mouth of every speaker, and so we got rocked by Editors, who "do Interpol better than Interpol” with energy. Smashing Pumpkins played "Tonight, Tonight,” "Bullet With Butterfly Wings” and ended with "Today.” People with or without ZERO shirts went home happy. But nothing could compare to Björk. "Innocence” sparked the seizure, wrapping the audience in space fuzz, confusion and drum beats with murder on the mind. Horn-soaked "Wanderlust” unfolded like time-lapse photography and she was pretty clear about the message of encore number "Declare Independence.” There were lines and hiccups, intrusive corporate sponsorship and way too much of MuchMusic VJ Tim Deegan, but to dwell on all that veers way off the point. In the right hands, music can be majestic.