Rogers Picnic 2008 Fort York, Toronto ON July 20

Rogers Picnic 2008 Fort York, Toronto ON July 20
Rogers sure knows how to put out a varied spread. You couldn’t bring your own food into their Fort York picnic, so the music was eaten up by the crowd instead. First up for the day was Scarborough’s electro rock duo the Carps, who have much of a crowd but managed to play to the few people up at the stage with as much energy as if the place was already rammed. Too bad their songs didn’t make as good an impression as their stage personas.

Next up was Born Ruffians, who got the now shoulder-to-shoulder field clapping and dancing along to their yelps and strums. If it hadn’t been for bassist Mitch DeRossier’s dead mic, the Toronto-based trio would have had a performance close to perfection. Singer/guitarist Luke LaLonde even thanked God for stopping the rain, to which the skies opened up minutes later.

Dizzee Rascal, along with his hypeman and DJ, managed to pull more dancing out of a now bedraggled-looking audience with his hipster-approved rap. He even came back to give the people one more with current UK number one single, "Dance Wiv Me.”

Vampire Weekend had a bit more charm than the last time they played Toronto, but everything still sounded just like their record. Not necessarily a bad thing, but a little bland.

They may have only been two, but Avey Tare and Panda Bear of Animal Collective brought those who had been waiting for them exactly what they wanted. Mesmerized from beginning to end, it was hard to tear my eyes away from them.

That is saying a lot, since Montreal electro pop duo Chromeo followed. I’ve never seen someone look as happy to play a show as Dave 1, who grinned from ear-to-ear the entire time.

Currently on everybody’s favourite list, Tokyo Police Club (pictured) made what they could of another festival set riddled with sound problems, but they still played like they meant it.

And if a good attitude is everything, then Cat Power’s got nothing. She might have an amazing voice, but that doesn’t make up for her lacklustre performance. One word: diva.

But I was pleasantly surprised when City and Colour didn’t make me want to go cry to myself in a corner after Dallas Green and his band played their first two songs. Too bad he followed it up with "Save Your Scissors” and ruined that streak.