Black Mountain WayAway Stage, Oro-Medonte ON, July 24

Black Mountain WayAway Stage, Oro-Medonte ON, July 24
Photo: Rick Clifford
From the opening, pulsing synth line of "Mothers of the Sun," Black Mountain made one thing clear: even if they were playing an afternoon set on the side stage, the Vancouver quintet were going to be the loudest band at the fest. The song's slow build primed the crowd for frontman Stephen McBean's slashing guitars when they finally came in, startling those assembled with their sheer power.
As one of the fest's few guitar-based bands, those in attendance were clearly on board with whatever the band were offering, both new ("Florian Saucer Attack") and old ("Wucan"), as the band worked through tracks from across their career. 
Though affable, McBean said little to the crowd as he switched between guitars, grabbing an acoustic for the spacey "Line them All Up," from most recent effort IV, really showcased Amber Webber's particularly strong vocals. On record, the new album's concentrated move away from heavy guitar rock gave space for members like Webber and keyboard player Jeremy Schmidt to make their mark; live, it made riff-heavy tracks like "Stormy High" that much more powerful.
WayHome should really think about booking more bands like this in the future.