Canadian Musician


Canadian Musician Does Arboretum Music Festival

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016


It’s been a busy summer for writer Samantha Everts & photographer Mark Matusoff, who were once again on the ground to cover a music festival for Canadian Musician. This time, it was Ottawa’s Arboretum Music Festival, running August 17-20 and featuring the likes of Sloan, Operators, Dilly Dally, Evening Hymns, and many others.

Slow-o-o-o-an! Slow-o-o-o-an! That was what the audience at Arboretum Festival kept calling for as Sloan ducked backstage before playing a second set of their biggest hits on the final stop on their One Chord to Another Tour in Ottawa. With Toronto hardcore band Metz canceling the day before due to a birth (mazel tov!), that Sloan would play two sets added to the buzz in the hipster air at Festival Plaza at City Hall.


Before we could hear about “The Other Man” and why it feels good to do it (even if we shouldn’t), Toronto lo-fi indie rockers Hooded Fang took to the stage to play new material for about 35 minutes. Having not seen the group since their debut EP dropped back in 2008, it was a welcome surprise to see them injecting more rock elements and energy to their live show. Lead singer Daniel Lee still didn’t move around too much on stage, but the bass player and drummer were feeling it.


Arboretum Festival’s weekend lineup was really a mixed bag of acts, with most of them on the two main stages coming from Toronto or New York.


Now as someone who was too young to appreciate Sloan when they released One Chord to Another 20 years ago, singing along to the opener, “Good in Everyone,” was a good sign. (Their 2001 album Pretty Together was my version of this classic album.)


Sloan is one of those Canadian bands to be held alongside The Sam Roberts Band, Our Lady Peace, and even the Tragically Hip. They’ve provided the soundtrack to millions of memories like driving around with friends as teenagers blasting music on the radio that you know is distinctly Canadian. So, yes, people were feeling the nostalgia as the band powered through hits in the second act like “Money City Maniacs,” “Coax Me,” “Who Taught You To Live Like That,” “Unkind,” and finishing their 2 ½ hour set with “If It Feels Good Do It,” absolutely exhausting and thrilling the audience over their 26-song set.


Full disclosure: We were supposed to cover Operators the following day but as close to a third of Canada did – all 11.7 million of us – we had to go to a nearby bar and cry with other Canucks over Gord Downie’s heart-wrenching performance. And yes, I had goosebumps while writing that last line. Kudos to Operators for liking our tweets to them explaining why we couldn’t return to Festival Plaza. They obviously got it.


Check out some of Mark’s additional photos below:


Doomsquad003 Doomsquad007 Doomsquad011


Frigs006 Frigs012 Frigs013

Hooded Fang

HoodedFang003 HoodedFang005 HoodedFang006 HoodedFang008


Junglepussy001 Junglepussy003 Junglepussy006

Moss Lime

MossLime002 MossLime003


Teenanger003 Teenanger006


Leave a Reply


Canadian Musician Associated Sites

Norris-Whitney Communications Inc.   Canadian Music Trade   Professional Lighting & Production   Professional Sound   Music Directory Canada   Music Books Plus