July Talk Island Stage, Guelph ON, July 27

July Talk Island Stage, Guelph ON, July 27
Photo: Atsuko Kobasigawa
Anticipation was high from the second Peter Dreimanis and his band took the stage and launched into "The Garden," but when Leah Fay sauntered onstage with a bear headdress draped over her to deliver her verse, the energy under the Island Stage's tent really became palpable. The crowd pushed forward, moving and singing along as Dreimanis and Fay dueled both vocally and physically on stage.

The recently-formed band stuck mainly to cuts from their self-titled debut, but also rewarded the rambunctious audience with a new song. "Let Her Know" was a high point of the set, that saw Fay kick off her shoes and climb along the edge of the stage. While one shoe went flying into the massive crowd, the other spent the majority of the next song balanced atop her head in a bizarre, but charming stage gimmick. Dreimanis played hypeman a couple of times throughout the set, throwing his arms up and instantly getting the onlookers that didn't already have them up to mimic him. There was also endearing banter about shirts from Wal-Mart between the two singers, and everyone in the band seemed to be constantly recognizing friends in the crowd (or they just really enjoy waving at people). Despite the giant numbers that had packed under the tent to see July Talk, by the time they closed with "Paper Girl," the group had turned out an intimate, but rowdy and highly entertaining performance.

Check out our gallery of photos from Hillside 2013 here.