CBC Music Festival took to RBC Echo Beach in Toronto on May 25, 2019, for a day of celebrating some of the brightest in Canadian music. While the extreme weather alert throughout the day threatened to shut the festival down, the show persisted with only a minor bump in the road.
Montreal singer Charlotte Cardin started her set amid some unwelcoming rain clouds, but the sun soon came out to shine over her performance. Playing well-known hits from her previous EPs Main Girl and Big Boy, the crowd crooned and swayed along with her jazzy vocals. She surprised fans with a new tune, Good Girl, a soulful ballad that beautifully echoed through the outdoor venue.
Legendary songwriter and activist Buffy Sainte-Marie hit the main stage shortly after with an inspiring set full of calls for peace and action. A hush fell over the festival as she delivered a captivating speech about power and exploitation before launching into a heart-pounding rendition of Power In The Blood.
Just as festival-goers were getting ready to catch Coeur de pirate’s set, the storm made its way over RBC Echo Beach. Dark clouds rolled in as everyone quickly took shelter under the amphitheater at Budweiser Stage. As festival attendees waited out the thunder and lightning, CBC staff made the most of a sour situation with impromptu acoustic performances from Coeur de pirate, Nuela Charles, and comedian Ivan Decker on the bare stage.
After the storm safely passed, fans were eager to get the party started again. Peach Pit kicked things off with some scrappy indie rock and witty stage banter. Lead singer Neil Smith crowd surfed into the audience to start the second part of the festival with a renewed spirit. The group started a dance party in the crowd as they bopped around stage, urging the crowd to do the same.
The moment many at the festival were waiting for finally arrived when Stars took the main stage to play their album Set Yourself On Fire in its entirety in celebration of the album’s 15th anniversary. Filled with nostalgic hits like the post-break-up classic, Your Ex-Lover Is Dead, Stars managed to make the outdoor festival feel like a small venue with an endearing and inviting stage presence.
Alvvays closed the show with a glittery stage set-up and laid-back indie tunes. The band played favourites like Archie, Marry Me and Plimsoll Punks. Fuzzy guitars and wandering vocals had the crowd losing themselves in this final set of the evening.