Royal Canoe Lake Stage, Guelph ON, July 27

Royal Canoe Lake Stage, Guelph ON, July 27
Photo: Atsuko Kobasigawa
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Winnipeg indie popsmiths Royal Canoe played to an eager crowd Sunday afternoon (July 27) at the Lake Stage, but it wasn't Hillsiders' first opportunity of the day to catch the band. Earlier on, the ensemble was joined by Hey Rosetta! for a workshop that saw the Winnipeg and St. John's bands "come together" (sorry) to play Abbey Road to a sea of groggy festivalgoers in varying states of hangover. A solid start to an initially sunny Sunday, the morning performance was followed up with the band's own set just before the dinner rush.

Onlookers sprang to their feet for the eclectic collective, as they played through songs from Today We're Believers like "Birthday," "Exodus of the Year" and "Bathtubs." The crowd responded well to the summery dream-pop, getting to their feet and clapping along to the dual drumkits by the time the first song ended. Another indication of Hillside's ability to expand beyond traditional folk music, whilst remaining fully supportive of innovative and interesting Canadian artists, Royal Canoe left a lasting impression — especially on audience members that wouldn't get a chance to see any other acts by the time the Sunday evening portion of the festival got rained out.

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