Friday evening was filled with fabulous live music to kick off the 5th annual Hillside Inside Festival

Saturday, February 4, 2012

  • Lowlands kicked off Hillside Inside on Friday

    Lowlands kicked off Hillside Inside on Friday

Written by Stephanie Rennie

The River Run Centre downtown Guelph served as a warm and friendly alternative to the crisp February air on Friday February 3rd. Eager fans quickly filled the seats of the concert hall in great anticipation of the first evening of Hillside Inside.

Lowlands kicked off the fifth annual Hillside Inside on Friday night as they took the audience by storm. The Guelph based band is comprised of members Abrahm Del Bel Belluz, Dan Beeson, Nima Navab, Gordon Auld, Dave Riedstra. Lead singer Gordon Auld expressed his excitement for playing at Hillside Inside by exclaiming “this is a treat!” to the excited audience. I think the feeling was mutual as the audience gave the band a standing ovation after their set.

During the brief intermission, folks flocked to the crowded foyer for some refreshments. Surprisingly, a refreshing and thought-provoking spoken word performance greeted the audience. One of the most powerful aspects of all Hillside events is the non-stop contributions to live music and art. Even during the intermissions, dance and spoken word awaited the audience. There was no pause in quality, beautiful entertainment all evening.

The crowd made their way back into the hall for the second performance of the evening by The Wooden Sky. Though based out of Toronto, lead singer Gavin Gardiner claimed Guelph to be their home away from home. The Wooden Sky also expressed great love for bands coming out of Guelph and the annual Hillside festivals.

After a powerful and energetic performance by The Wooden Sky, the anticipation in the audience escalated as they eagerly awaited Dan Mangan. After an intermission filled with beautiful dance, the crowd quickly took their seats and awaited the final act of the evening.

Canadian singer-songwriter Dan Mangan energetically took the stage wearing a Canada Post shirt. Mangan was accompanied by a small and vivacious band for a great portion of the set, though he braved the stage on his own and filled the hall with powerful and deep melodies.

The sold out show was a hopeful sign of another fantastic Hillside Inside that began on Friday evening and will continue throughout Saturday with a performance by Harry Manx and Kim Churchill at the St. George’s Church at 3pm. There will be a screening of “Surviving Progress” Saturday evening at 8:00pm in the Co-operators Hall of the River Run Centre. Many fantastic workshops and community events are happening throughout the day as well, so be sure to take advantage of all that this fabulous festival has to offer.

For more information: http://hillsidefestival.ca/#/home/

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