Show Review – Big Red Fest

By: Amanda Hather

Photos by: Jeannette Thibodeau

Big Red Fest 2014 promised to be bigger and better and boy did they ever deliver on that promise. The first night of Big Red, Saturday June 28th, had many amazing artists performing on both the main stage and the side stage. Throughout the night, the side stage played host to Ariel, Zoey & Eli, Dylan Menzie, and Macy Kate. Although I was in front of the main stage, in between the sets I could hear the music from the side stage and all of the artists put on quite a show.

The main stage artists for the Saturday show were Toronto band Crystalyne, Canadian favourite LIGHTS, American singer/actress Brigit Mendler, and the popular Marianas Trench. Fans stayed crowded around the main stage even through the sweltering heat of downtown Charlottetown.

The heat didn’t stop phenomenal performances from all of the acts for the night. Crystalyne, a band I had only heard of and had yet to listen to opened up the main stage. Their set included some of their original songs including “Weapons”, and a cover of the popular Australian band 5 Seconds Of Summer’s song, “She Looks So Perfect”. I was thoroughly impressed by the band’s performance and connection with the audience. If you haven’t heard of this band, you need to check them out, you will not regret it.

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Next up was LIGHTS. Big Red was her first show back after recording her new record and having her daughter. I had only seen LIGHTS live once before and she did not disappoint my expectations this time. She rocked the stage with some of her well known songs such as “Toes” and “Drive My Soul”, and also debuted one of the new songs off of her upcoming record. Although she did not indulge the audience with any details, she did promise that the album would be coming out soon. The crowd absolutely loved her stage presence and catchy music.

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Brigit Mendler was the third act of the night, and although not Canadian, we thought she still deserved a mention. Prior to the show I had only known her as an actress and was pleasantly surprised by her performance. She played songs off of her debut album, including the hit “Ready Or Not” as well as covers of songs by Coldplay and Sam Smith.

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And finally, the act that everyone was waiting for. Marianas Trench, after not playing on the Island since 2010, had a very warm welcome of hundreds of screaming fans. The hours that many spent waiting in the sun with very limited shade were worth it as the band took the stage. The played a mix of songs from their last two albums, ‘Masterpiece Theatre’ and ‘Ever After’. Josh, Matt, Mike and Ian had the crowd on their feet and giving it there all singing and dancing along for the entire set which included “Ever After”, “By Now”, “Masterpiece Theatre I”, and “All To Myself”. They ended the night with a duet from Josh and LIGHTS performing “Good To You”, teasing the audience with a verse of a new song, and finally closing with “Masterpiece Theatre III”.

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All of the performers were amazing and the crowd loved every minute of it. Big Red Fest continues on July 12th with many more performers including American rock band, The Killers. Be sure to check out some of the music from the performers as well as follow Big Red Fest on social media to check out pictures and updates of your favourite acts attending the festival.

Dylan Menzie: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/heather-avenue-ep/id730589623 
Crystalyne: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-remedy-ep/id744406787 
LIGHTS: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/siberia-acoustic/id615717835 
Marianas Trench: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/ever-after-deluxe-version/id479674517

Big Red Fest on social media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BigRedFest 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bigredmusicfestival 
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCVVWz5nJGOLZuZnWPVUomA 
Website: http://bigredfest.ca/

Last year at Big Red Fest:

Interview with Krikit (Faber Drive): http://canadianbeats.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/interview-with-krikit-from-faber-drive/ 
Interview with Courage My Love: http://canadianbeats.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/courage-my-love-interview-from-big-red-fest/ 
Show Review: http://canadianbeats.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/review-of-big-red-music-festival-2013/

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