Sled Island isn’t just happening to Calgary. The city is not passively waiting for an invasion of amazing music from all points outward, creating culture in a void of empty stages and dance floors. The YYC music scene, diverse and amazing, is well represented at this year’s Sled.
Sure, you think, there are probably a few good Calgary bands playing between Tuesday and Sunday, but who has time to go through the list and find them all.
Well, we do.
On Tuesday, you can start things off when you catch garage punks The Slabs, spectral electronic Tigerwing, metalicious Witchstone, the Wild Rose Soul Club DJs and indie artisans 36? and The Mandates, all at Commonwealth.
Wednesday is the day for punks Hag Face and super youngsters The Basement Demons at Tubby Dog; heavy riffers Temple at Bamboo; surfy quartet Hana Vave, good-time garage rockers Muerte Pan Alley, melodic Divepool and 60’s surf rockers The Pygmies at the Palomino; electric Hello Moth, West African inspired Youssou Seck and “country” faves Cowpuncher at Wine-Ohs; garage rockers HexRay at Broken City; rock duo HighKicks and a trio of hip-hop acts in AYE and the Extraordinary Gentlemen, Rap X, and Ayoo Angie at Local 510; indie rocker Astral Swans and folk crooner Kris Ellestad at the Ironwood; the solo but not lonely guitar of Bitter Fictions at NMC; the tight rock of Burnt Shrines and head-bobbing beats of Jung People at Commonwealth; The Mandates, the driving instrumentals of Burro, part-Calgary undefinable sound of The Allovers and party animals MANcub at the Legion; the synth-punk Catholic Girls and electric Mark Mills at the Republik; the bright and catchy sounds of The Nancees at the ‘Ship, soul-filled Shaani Cage at Central United Church; the unrelenting metal experimentation of The Weir at Bamboo; or going hardcore with the intertwined bands Skin Colour and Exotic Functions at Dicken’s.
Thursday, go seek out indie pop/art rockers Gretchen and the post-punk renewal of Modern Aquatics at the Legion; the dreamy Holgans, improved 80’s synth of Teledrone, and high-energy The Soft Option at Commonwealth; well-travelled rapper Sabo Forte and the smooth hip hop sounds of the Humble Giants at the Republik; psych rockers Devonian Gardens (nee Deadhorse), “sad bastard death folk” guy Lucid 44 and angst-country Cold Water at Local 510; unconventional indie artists Un Blonde at Tubby Dog; Mark Mills, RnB-inspired electronica sounds of Dominic Pierce, local indie powerhouse Raleigh, and the happy indie sounds of Lab Coast at the Palomino (Lab Coast plays again later at the Golden Age Club); Beach Season‘s hot summer feels and club vets Smalltown DJs at the East Village Riverwalk Plaza; country-folk No River at the Ironwood; poetry in noise from Starr Party at Central United Church; and Tigerwing and supergroup Wicked Healing at Broken City.
It’s Friiiiiiday! Hag Face and Catholic Girls at the NMC! All-inclusive party marshals the Hot Mess DJs at the Republik! Vintage rockers Feel Alright at the Golden Age Club! Devonian Gardens at the Palomino! Divepool at Containr(?)! Dominic Pierce at the HiFi Club! The Weir, sarccore punks YENT, and stoner rockers Chron Goblin at Dicken’s! Mark Mills, Teledrome and 36? at the Legion! Indie sweetheart Samantha Savage Smith at Wine-Ohs! The Soft Option at Tubby Dog! Witchstone at the ‘Ship!
Saturday (day and) night are all right for Hag Face at Tubby Dog; Hello Moth at Flames Central; garage punks the Ex-Boyfriends at the ‘Ship; Feel Alright at Olympic Plaza; partially local Fist City DJs at the Golden Age Club; indie faves The Bitterweed Draw and SAVK at Wine-Ohs; diverse rockers Soft Cure, Mayland and Jung People at Local 510; power punk La Luna at the Legion; the soft folk of Laura Leif at the Ironwood; crashing rock from Night Committee at the Republik; The Slabs at Bamboo; The Soft Option at Broken City; melodic screamo band Tel Fyr at NMC; and Temple at Dickens.
Finally, Sunday features the Wild Rose Soul Club DJs at the Republik as part of the wrap-up pig roast
That’s not to say that the only bands worth seeing are from our own city, but in the rush to see all of the amazing shows, we suggest taking a little time to appreciate what has been here all along.