ALL CAPS! Festival Day 2, Toronto Island, Toronto ON, August 11

ALL CAPS! Festival Day 2, Toronto Island, Toronto ON, August 11
Photo: Tiana Feng
The ALL CAPS! Island Festival kicked off on day onewith Unfinished Business' mini confetti cannon, which was clearly (well, unintentionally) a progressive foresight to day two's headliner, Rich Aucoin and his arsenal of confetti canons. Let's face it, there's no better way to celebrate five great years of a festival than great music, lots of celebratory confetti and one giant parachute.

Pachamama and Eons brought the show onto the sandy shores of the beach early on in the day, performing on a small makeshift wooden stage. The former, a Toronto duo of Brandon Valdivia and Petra Glynt's Alexandra Mackenzie, used their percussion-driven rhythms to create a tribal dance party highlighted by a solo performer who interpreted most of the performance in the space in front of the stage. On the other end of the spectrum, Bruce Peninsula's Matt Cully brought his quiet folk project Eons to the stage, accompanied by bandmate Misha Bower on vocals with him.

As the day went on, the grab bag of acts continued, from the worldly art-rock quartet Elfin Saddle to shoegaze newcomers Beliefs, who have been gaining buzz internationally for months now (the band expressed their excitement to tour Europe in the coming months). Pop-rock vets Magneta Lane also took to the stage, performing their guitar- and melody-driven tunes, which appear to have not aged nor progressed from album to album. This plays as a pro and a con, as the band still performs old and new hits in a slick and successful manner, but have yet to show any musical development to help propel them any further as a band.

The second and final day of the festival was not quite as strong as its first, but its headliner, Rich Aucoin, was alone worth the trek to the island. Known for their energetic and often life-affirming nature (and for besting his recorded material), a Rich Aucoin show was the ideal way to end a festival as bright and spirited as ALL CAPS.

Whether this was your first or tenth time experiencing Aucoin's live set-up of syncing YouTube videos and movie clips to his electro-pop party anthems, there was a definite appreciation for the heavily-crafted celebration the performer has created for the audience. Almost every member of the crowd was ready to play along, be it through dancing, singing, jumping, crowd surfing or holding up a parachute so big that everyone at the festival fit under the colourful blanket of fun.

Aucoin continues to stand as one of the best showmen in music right now, and seeing him live should be on everyone's bucket list. Beyond writing simple, sing-along lyrics, Aucoin is an unabashed motivational speaker and preacher of happiness who uses the power of song to convey his messages. He is the human representation of the phrase "YOLO," and if travelling to an island, camping for two days and supporting a slew of fantastic talent doesn't show some form of living life to the fullest, I don't know what does.

To see more photos from ALL CAPS!, click to our gallery here.