Alvvays Island Stage, Guelph ON, July 25

Alvvays Island Stage, Guelph ON, July 25
Photo: Atsuko Kobasigawa
It's hardly surprising to see a Rankin on the bill at a folk festival, but Molly and her latest group Alvvays brought a fresh, jangly indie-pop sound to the esteemed family name on the opening night of Hillside. A huge crowd was already gathered at the Island Stage as the band ran through a late sound check — an unfortunate hiccup, but one to be expected as the festival worked out a few kinks before the weekend kicked into high gear. Alvvays' set definitely helped work the evening up to full-speed, running through tracks off their self-titled debut LP, just released earlier in the week.

Opener "Atop a Cake" got everyone on their feet and up to the front of the stage, without having to be coaxed by Rankin who, despite her deadpan banter and sarcastic remarks throughout the set, appreciated the gesture. While the band slowed the pace a bit early on with "Ones Who Love You," standout album cut "Party Police" eventually got the gently-swaying onlookers clapping along during an especially enthusiastic synth breakdown. The energy carried over into "Adult Diversion" and then into obvious favourite "Archie, Marry Me," which brought the short, but sweet set to a close.

See more photos from Hillside in our Facebook gallery. Read our recent cover story on Alvvays here.