A handful of reporters and invited guests were treated to a private audience with Gordon Downie and the Tragically Hip Friday night as the band played for about half an hour to test the Live at Squamish sound system.
One of the songs played by the band was Ahead By A Century, a song that went to number one in Canada and garnered the band a nomination for a Juno Award.
“That is a nice banner,” Downie said as he improvised in between songs. “I’d say that if this wasn’t just a practice.”
After the brief test of the audio systems Downie thanked the small crowd and said he looked forward to being back on the stage the following night.
The Tragically Hip is the headline act at the festival that will take place throughout the weekend.
While the Hip practiced on the Stawamus Stage, a lesser-known band called Good For Grapes entertained on the Garibaldi Stage. The seven members of the high-energy folk group kicked off the festival with a set that left the audience chanting for another song.
The tight festival schedule didn’t allow for an encore as the group No Sinner followed Good For Grapes on the Garibaldi Stage. The young folk rock band includes a member who was raised in Squamish. Bass player and vocalist Robert Hardie spent his youth in the host community before moving to Vancouver with his family. Hardie’s father, Ken, captured the Good For Grapes performance on video and said after the show that the group won the Rogers urMusic Battle of the bands recently.
The Friday performers also included Washboard Union along with The Matinee and Rich Hope closed out the evening.
The Tragically Hip will play Saturday evening at the event’s biggest stage starting at 9:15 p.m. Saturday in an evening of performances focused on Canadian talent. The Sheepdogs and Wintersleep will perform ahead of The Hip.
The Canadian theme is evident on the smaller Garibaldi Stage Saturday with Chromeo closing out the evening and Lights taking the stage at 7:20 p.m. In between, Beats Antique from San Francisco will perform on the Garibaldi Stage.
The Sunday performers include City and Colour, Mother Mother, Mark Farina and Mat the Alien.
For more on the festival, check the Live at Squamish scheduled posted at http://liveatsquamish.com/p/schedule.