Elaquent Island Stage, Guelph ON, July 26

Elaquent Island Stage, Guelph ON, July 26
Photo: Atsuko Kobasigawa
The number of hip-hop and electronic producers occupying sets at Hillside are few and far between, but hometown beatmaker Elaquent offered a welcome performance on Sunday afternoon with a wet and watery sounding set that found him peddling the 32-bit sounds and downtempo beats from his most recent album, Good Karma.
Playing with just an iPad and a sampler, there wasn't much to see on stage during his 3 p.m. set, but it didn't seem like the small and sizeable crowd minded. After hours spent in the hot sun, the few remaining Hillsiders ready to dance kept close to the front of the stage, swaying (and, in the case of one special fellow in board shorts, freestyling out loud) along to his ever evolving, Sonic the Hedgehog-sampling grooves.
One can only imagine how much better the set would have been had he been booked in a more dance-oriented evening slot, rather than one act removed from Fred Penner. Still, it was a welcome shift away from the festival's more folk-friendly sets, and a reminder that if there's anything Hillside needs to improve upon, it's getting more artists of this nature to play the fest.