Next year LOLAfest should change it’s name to “London Ontario Love Affair”, or at least that’s what one attendee suggested. There was nothing but love once again for the music and arts festival this weekend, and there was no shortage of amazing free entertainment. Here are a few highlights:
Jamie Lidell & Zeus
LOLA could not have kicked off better then it did Thursday evening at Rum Runners with unforgettable performances by Zeus and Jamie Lidell. Both sets drew very diverse audiences. Zeus’ amazing sound and upbeat tempo was well received by the crowd, but Lidell’s flawless set was really the talk of the evening. He had everyone on their feet dancing and singing the night away – a combination of old and new songs had the crowd mesmerized. LOLA’s opening night was definitely a success–and only a glimpse of what was to come the rest of the weekend.
My Brightest Diamond
Shara Worden, aka My Brightest Diamond, took to the Rogers Main Stage during the 8:00 p.m. slot on Friday evening wearing gold larame tights and a floral patterned shirt. Looking every bit the part of a hippie, Worden rocked in front of a growing crowd and even threw in a welcomed cover of “Tainted Love”.
With enthusiastic face-painted fans front and centre, Born Ruffians played the headlining set on Friday. With a set that featured tracks from their latest record Say It, as well as old material, the band even had people dancing, drinking, smoking and crowd-surfing by the end of their performance.
Land of Talk
Plaid-clad front women Elizabeth Powell began the Land of Talk set alone on-stage, showing off some awesome electric guitar skills. When the rest of the seven-piece Montreal band joined her, the result was a crowd-pleasing good time that even garnered stuffed animals being thrown on stage.
With seven musicians on stage playing everything from trumpet to synthesizer, Caribou’s headlining slot offered the same experimental sounds found on his Polaris Prize-winning Andorra. While plummeting into near-psychedelic breakdowns is definitely their thing, the sound was a bit too muddy to recreate the production skills of singer-songwriter-perfectionist Daniel Snaith.
This years LOLA art really blew the past years out of the water. The Conflict/Resolution theme seemed to be well received by the festival attendees. The entire city was decorated in unique and meaningful art with highlights being the “Imagine Peace” and “War is Over” pieces commissioned by Yoko Ono and “Poppies/Holy Roller Tank” by Jamelie Hassan.