When it comes to the summer season in Toronto, nothing feels quite right until the outdoor summer venues open up. Last week Budweiser Stage (formerly Molson Amphitheatre) made its return with all the fixin's at the lakefront venue. Bud Stage literally rolled out the red carpet for its guests as we all walked through "Opening Night" signage on said red carpet. It felt glamorous to be there like we were apart of some bigger music or media event, but it was just a concert.
But a fantastic one at that.
In between perusing through local food vendors, checking out sick merch, and deciding whether or not to break the bank and buy all the Buds, two great bands helmed the main stage to officially kick off the season.
Portugal. The Man was up first and reignited the debate on whether or not "real bands" exist anymore. They had some fun visuals with written commentary on the topic and odd comments like "Kyle has a boner" and "don't worry, "that song" is up next" speaking to their closer and global smash hit single "Feel it Still". If there was any question whether or not real bands existed, Portugal. The Man stood strong with more than half their set being one giant jam, reworking songs from acts like Metallica and Pink Floyd and blending them together seamlessly. It was super rad, but to the average fan who only knows Portugal. The Man from "Feel It Still", I could only imagine they left the show thinking... Woah. And as a long time fan, I'd have to agree.
The night ended with what felt like a thousand mics on stage as Toronto-based indie supergroup Broken Social Scene held down the fort and played an impressive set (even if they were missing BSS mainstays Emily Haines of Metic and Leslie Feist of, well... Feist). They played some of my favourite hits like "KC Accidental", "Anthems for a Seventeen-Year Old Girl", "Fire Eye'd Boy", and "Texico Bitches" (plus many, many more).
It was a stellar night of music and I couldn't have asked for a better night to officially welcome back summer. See what you missed with the photos below and see you at the next one. Cheers!
Words / Photography by: Steve St. Jean
**All photos © Beyond The Watch. Do not use or reproduce w/o permission**