Khatsahlano! The West 4th Music + Art Street Festival -- 07/23/11

Another weekend full of music, this time a day of free shows thanks to Khatsahlano! The West 4th Music + Art Street Festival, with West 4th Ave being closed off for several blocks, and five stages of music with dozens of bands throughout the day.

The day started at 11:30 with Kingdom Cloud, and even before noon all three members of the band -- in their uniform white jeans, blue shirts and neckerchiefs -- were full of energy; especially Evan, who was bouncing around the stage, hardly staying still for a moment. Blasting through insanely catchy power-pop songs, with awesome titles like "Love Goblin", "Turbo Ranger" and "Rainbow Road", they were incredibly fun to watch and a good start to the day.

The next act I wanted to catch was Ma Petite, even though I had seen them the night before. The set itself was similar, with charming songs like "I Like That You Like Books" and singer Indiana Avent's nice voice and great sense of storytelling.

From there it was a rush to The Peak sponsored stage where David Vertesi had just started. Most of the sets were only a half hour long that day, so Vertesi only had a handful of songs, which included his awesome cover of "Say You'll Be There" by Spice Girls, which seems to have become a staple of his repertoire, and the infectious "Mountainside" to wrap up his set.

After that there was a bit of a break in the action where we visited a "side party" put on by Zach Gray from The Zolas, on his front lawn. There were just a couple short sets with Hannah Epperson and her amazing violin looping first, then Zach playing a few songs solo. It wasn't too long, but gathered a pretty decent sized group of passer-by's and neighbours, and was a really fun and cool idea.

Then it was quickly back to the Peak stage on 4th for Aidan Knight. He announced it was going to be his last show of the summer, and he'll be back in the studio with his Friendly Friends soon to record a new album.
Started with "Friendly Fires", his set consisted of old and new songs, and of course Knight's great awkwardly charming banter. After the beautiful "Margaret Downe" alone, Aidan called not only his Friendly Friends back out, but also the members of Said The Whale and David Vertesi & Ashleigh Ball of Hey Ocean! to join him for the last couple songs. It was a really cool group jam, culminating in "Jasper", an incredible sight with everyone, on stage and in the street, dancing and singing along.

And finally, to wrap up the day, it was Yukon Blonde. Kicking off with "Babies Don't Like Blue Anymore", their tight sound and great energy as good as ever. Highlights were the rockin' "Bride's Song" and the always great harmonies of "Wind Blows", as well as a few new songs throughout the set. One had Kingdom Cloud and Spencer from Said The Whale on stage to help out, and another -- possibly called "Radio" -- which is hands down my favourite Yukon Blonde song, even though I've only heard it twice, live. They ended the set after a nice cover of The Cure's "Just Like Heaven" and another new one.

and the incredible day of music.