Compared to the languid parade of folk that was the rest of Sunday's (July 23) River & Sky lineup, jangle punks Weaves were the odd ones out, more befitting of Saturday's rock-centric lineup — but, in the grand scheme of things, they were the perfect festival closer, adept in doing the one thing they were chosen to do: Keep the audience engaged until their final note, and have them raring to come back next year. And did they ever succeed.
The acclaimed Toronto quartet may not be the best hangover cure — at least one member was nursing one of his own — but they sure got those who had been partying the night before back at it one last time. Material from their self-titled LP was just as hard-hitting live, and plenty of theatrics from guitarist Morgan Waters (who would occasionally scream into his hollow body guitar to turn it into some sort of talkbox) and enthusiastic, expressive drummer Spencer Cole engaged even those still too woozy to rock out stageside.
And though their debut LP is still receiving accolades — it was recently named one of ten finalists for this year's Polaris Music Prize — the band have been working on new material, showcasing a pair of new cuts. One in particular, "Slicked," stood out with its blues-rock groove. With their effortless performance, it seemed as if the band could simply conjure new songs out of thin air — which they actually did during the set: After Waters shrugged off a broken string, his bandmates launched into an improvised ditty about his predicament. It was a catchy number, too — shame it may never be performed again.
But it was the familiar material that got the crowd riled up, shouting and dancing along no matter how aching their heads. Lead singer Jasmyn Burke was like a punk rock Pied Piper, transfixing the crowd with her vowel-stretched vocals, while Zach Bines doled out the perfect bass line accompaniments. Their encore, a cover of the Who's "My Generation," capped off not only just an excellent set but an amazing festival experience too. There may have been plenty of families present throughout the fest, but by this point most had already left — River & Sky may have something for everyone, but this year's final set was for the dedicated.