Night Terrors Main Stage, Field ON, July 15

Night Terrors Main Stage, Field ON, July 15
Photo: Sarah Greene
Matthew Beach of Sudbury's Night Terrors seemed out to demonstrate how not to front a band, or at least how to do so as awkwardly and self-effacingly as possible, with a bit of humour, like a friendly grump that wasn't sure how he got on stage. "I'm new to this frontman thing," he said to the small dinner crowd. "I suggest you don't try it."

Sing-talking low, almost atonally over mellow, dreamy slow rockers from the band's album, Wardenclyff, which he created with bandmate David MacKinnon, Night Terrors' music set a fuzzy, foggy, malcontent tone. It was appropriate for a day that had seen so much rain and dampness, making it feel as though the entire festival was reluctantly waking up from day-long nap followed by time in the sauna.

Night Terrors' songs are about nightmares, dreams, foggy thinking, and a slacker attitude and forgetting lyrics seemed par for the course. The lyrics didn't always make sense ("all rebellion leads to following, and all sadness leads to love" — really?) and the drumming was a little over emphatic and stilted. Then again, Night Terrors surprised by rocking pretty hard in spite of their lackadaisical attitude, pulling out cool weaving melodies on guitars and synths.

I'd take Night Terrors reluctant stage banter mocking stage banter over tired, typical stage banter any day.