Long lines, cheap wine and a fantastic time. This past weekend QPOP was back with its 2nd annual festival. With just over 500 wristbands sold this promised us a weekend of music we wouldn’t forget.
Friday started off with a bang. Born Ruffians, one of the biggest names to attend QPOP played an unbelievable set. The four piece Midland Natives hit us with bangers such as Oh Cecilia and Needle as well as blew us away with a ton of new material from their newly released album RUFF. Luke Lalonde dropped panties in the front and even had the boys in the back singing along. Being known for their especially energetic sets, Born Ruffians really captured the Kingston music vibe with an intimate but intoxicating show.
The dance party did not stop there, with bands like Moon King and Kassador leading the way for some of summer’s biggest Canadian indie names. Kingston also got a fresh look at some incredible talent from across the sea. Tora, an Australian band in the midst of their North American tour, stopped by for a tasty set rich with satisfying chillwave-crosses-indie-rock tunes from their EP “Eat The Sun”. Their exotic flair didn’t end with their entrancing set, these gentleman were by far the most hip dressed dudes at the festival, and their stage setup was a marvel for us gear lovers. For those of you who were lucky enjoy to have seen Alvvays on their festival circuit this summer Friday’s set was as good if not better than anything we’ve seen by them before. The Grad Club was the absolute perfect venue for their dreamlike jingle-jangle to erupt. For those of you wanted a more upbeat atmosphere the electro-pop sibling duo, Brave Shores had us singing along even when we didn’t know the words. Their hit “Never Come Down” made us never want to come down from the euphoria that was Friday of QPOP.
With our dancing shoes laced up and our G&T’s in hand we were ready take Saturday night by storm. With the hardest schedule decision of QPOP in our midst we split up to conquer more sound. The Vault’s very own Attic Kids put on a legendary show for an intimate crowd. The four-piece Queen’s birthed band hit us with their classics such as Where We Belong, crowd and personal favourite Chloroform / Thinking Bout You as well as some new material. Rural Alberta Advantage, or RAA if you’re cool enough to know the acronym, brought us back to summer festival mode, flower crowns and all. Their whimsical set list didn’t disappoint with the perfect blend of old and new, giving the fans exactly what we wanted. Next up were big time summer contest winners, Ivory Hours. Where the fuck do we even begin? These up and comers obviously did not let their combined total of 50K in winnings get to their head. This band truly embodies Canadian indie sound. Their upbeat and colourful tune is enough to keep The Grad Club on its feet; while each song is undercut lyrically with themes of love, loss and simply the struggle of being a young adult – something we can all relate to.
The closer of a festival has the responsibility of bringing an amazing weekend to an unforgettable close. The Elwin’s did just that. Their quirky indie-pop sound had us belting Beyonce and getting so down low. Matt, Feurd, Travis and Frankie are a band to watch as they start a forty-stop tour across North America ending in the beginning of December. The Elwin’s did not disappoint your inner hipster as they played more than just their newest LP, which has been blowing up since released in February of this year. Lead singer Matt Sweeney has a way with getting the crowd even more into the show, if that’s even possible, by starting chants like “Friggin fire it up!” between songs. These guys are a must see live act.
Besides a few minor hiccups QPOP has established themselves in the Kingston community with room to grow. After two evenings of non-stop shows, shots and sing-a-longs our converse have worn thin. With a rough recovery period in our dust we can’t wait to see what QPOP 2016 will bring!
– Mel // honorable mention to Nicole, Nick and Sophie for her dope photos.