Basia Bulat Main Stage, Guelph ON, July 27

Basia Bulat Main Stage, Guelph ON, July 27
Photo: Atsuko Kobasigawa
Ontario songstress Basia Bulat has been making the rounds in Ontario's folk music scene for years, but shot to acclaim with her now Polaris Music Prize-nominated Tall Tall Shadow last year. The album garnered her a spot on Hillside festival's main stage, which Bulat bounced onto with a ukulele, opening the show with a solo rendition of "It Can't Be You." Joined by her band for the rest of the set, she ran through songs like "The City With No Rivers," "Gold Rush" and "Snakes and Ladders."

Jumping back and forth between her collection of quirky instruments (from the aforementioned ukulele to her signature autoharp, then back to basics on guitar and keyboards), Bulat seemed at home on the major stage, a feat she's worked up to from previous years. Despite a few technical kinks, the penultimate "Wires" was particularly excellent, adding an unexpected electronic vibe to the usually folksy tune. She ended the performance with her latest record's title track, but not before getting in on some festival fun and tossing a beach ball into the crowd. It was a perfectly lovely, if subdued, set at which to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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