Cousins / Greys / The Wet Secrets / Lido Pimienta The Garrison, Toronto ON, February 16
Published Feb 17, 2014For the final night of the festival, Wavelength returned to its spiritual home at the Garrison, where the weekly concert series had its final instalment back in 2009.
Avant-pop artist Lido Pimienta took the nationalized stage to muzak-ified strains of our national anthem. Singing "O KKK Canada," the Colombian-Canadian quickly let those in the crowd know that the flag waving members of her band might not have the men's hockey team's best interests at heart. "I'm just doing me," she proudly proclaimed between screeching over beat-driven tracks. Her set, more a piece of performance art, confused, confounded and definitely entertained, but it was clear that no one was having as much fun as Pimienta.
Decked out in matching marching band outfits, Edmonton's the Wet Secrets were up next. Fronted by Shout Out Out Out Out's Lyle Bell on bass, the band play garage-y power-pop rounded out with self-deprecating lyrics. Although Bell's bass lines dominate the music, it's the horn lines, woo-woo backing vocals and choreographed dance moves that really drew the crowd in. The group's playful energy was disarming, and that was the point. Bell even implored the notoriously standoffish audience to "unfold those arms." Many complied.
After clearing the stage of any loose clutter, locals Greys mounted a noisy post-hardcore assault, resulting in the fest's first mosh pit. The four piece are incredibly tight, anchored by their drummer, allowing the other three members to thrash about on stage. These guys really like Jawbox's Your Own Special Sweetheart and Nirvana; if that's your thing, they're certainly hard to beat.
After a heartfelt thank you from Wavelength co-founder Jonny Dovercourt to everyone involved with the fest, Cousins took the stage to a warm welcome. The Halifax duo have really stepped up their game in recent years: their scrappy sound was fuller, tighter and played with more precision than previous Toronto gigs and the crowd responded in kind. Drummer Leigh Dotey might not be flashy, but she's one of Canada's most steady-handed beat keepers, while Aaron Mangle, who sported a homemade bowl cut, continues to blaze his own idiosyncratic path. Their set was the perfect end to another successful fest.
[Ed. note: This post originally referred incorrectly to the members of Cousins. It has been corrected above.]
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