In The Beginning There Was Light

By Stephanie Garrison

Saturday, July 13, morning

If only all outdoor shows could start off as smoothly as EDEN Musicfest. Sunny weather and some great bands gave the 45,000 happy campers already staked out in Mosport Park a chance to soak up the low-key atmosphere and relax for three days of music.

Although the main stage was crammed with such popular artists as The Cure, Bush, Poe, Sloan and Spirit of the West, the side stage seemed barely able to contain the younger set of bands ready to burst forth and claim their space on the world stage.

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Photo by Dax Ross

"Can you say, Happy Camper?"

Brit pop boys Shed 7 played a pumped set of music that drew heavily off of material from their latest album, dispelling once and for all that they're not some pale cloning of The Charlatans. Stabbing Westward claimed the stage afterwards, and though this band's biggest single to date may be called "What Do I Have To Do," the group's assured set and rock star gear (PVC, vinyl, etc.) wasn't marred by a hint of self-consciousness or doubt.


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But Gravity Kills, the final band on the second stage, blew everyone else out of the water with their intense live show and brutal slashes of songwriting. Singer Jeff Scheel taunted the audience with such remarks as "Is the audience still with us?" while keyboardist Douglas Firley thrashed about his synthesizers. Actually, it was the other way around: mounted on some 360 degree stand that could twist his keyboards in any number of ways, Firley was jumping around the stage even more than Scheel was. Their show, rapturously embraced by the large crowd watching, showed that after years of trying things in other bands, the "overnight success" of this quartet is no mistake.

Then, of course, there was The Cure. Some people might dismiss the five members as the Grateful Dead of alternative rock, but the truth of the matter is that this band has endured for as long as it has through a steady stream of albums and consistently excellent stage shows. The Cure aren't the kind of blokes to jump all over the stage and scream "Are you ready to rock, Canada?" (something another band had the cheesy distinction of doing yesterday). Instead, a Cure live show features dreamy versions of their songs set to a seamlessly beautiful show of lights and smoke.

The Cure

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Photo by Much Music

Although the band is currently on tour in support of the latest magnum opus, Wild Mood Swings, Mosport's outdoor setting prevented the group from bringing in the full version of its show (a set best described as a carnival gone wrong). But the stage was by no means empty as the pyrotechnics complimented tunes from the latest album, and even four from Disintegration, (the spider-like guitars of "Lullabye," groove of "Fascination Street," bleakly atmospheric drone of "Prayers for Rain" and a fantastic version of "Disintegration," which closed the show).

The Cure

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Photo by Much Music

Unfortunately, a strict 12 a.m. curfew cut off The Cure, effectively preventing any encore. Despite this, scores of tired campers milled around the beer tents and littered concert area before turning in much later. But their sleep was probably sound, due to sheer exaustion from the day's revelry and the soothingly blue lullabye goodnight from The Cure.

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