Reviewed By: Fridae Mattas
Transcribed/Written/Edited By: Lulu D.
The inaugural Rockstar Disrupt Festival hit Toronto, Wednesday, July 3rd 2019, the day before America celebrated Independence day. Toronto was like the 3rd date into the tour and here in Canada, we were still fresh off the Birthday train, with some keeping the celebrations going, in part due to the Raptors winning the NBA Championships not too long ago. We were so excited for Disrupt fest, this injection of spectacular live performances was much needed! Earlier in the day it was a huge bummer, to find out that another festival was cancelled but there will be others. Mother nature held up for us, it was hot and sticky. A welcome change from all the rain we've been getting, but it was so hot we were raining sweat just standing there. Once the sun set it did get cooler to a more comfortable temperature. When the press release for this awesome new Rockstar festival popped into our inbox back in March, we were counting down the days! Who wouldn't want to see The Used, Thrice and Atreyu with a bunch of other fiercely talented bands?!
Some of the talent on the bill like, Thrice and The Used are no strangers to FridaeTV! We have loved to cover their sets many times over the years. The ones we have yet to cover is everyone else, Anna our awesome photographer arrived just in time to catch "Memphis May Fire", I arrived when I could, was hoping to make it to finally catch Atreyu live, yet only heard the ending of the last tune. So disappointed, had I not been hobbling along in my cast, maybe could have made the last four tracks. Next time, I will request a cart to pick us up because all the direct routes had the Toronto Indy blockages, it was not very friendly to the physically disabled. So, I hopped on a Rickshaw to take me to the bridge across Lakeshore so I could grab my pass and meet with Anna. We did not accept any interview requests, super simple coverage until I am fully recovered.
The set up for this editorial, is similar to our regulars but instead of grouping everything together, we have added separate gallery pages for each band covered and the links are at the end of the feature. We did this for the 90's Nostalgia festival and we found, that it allows for more focus on the fabulous words and visuals with the galleries as a bonus. Anna informed me how awesome the bands I missed were and that Atreyu killed! Fuck my life, when will I ever see this band? To this day, I have missed all their sets and believe that one day I will see more than thirty seconds. Among their ridiculously stellar tunes, Atreyu still has the best band name ever! Don't know what I would do without Anna, she is keeping things on the visual side on lock. Huge shout out and many thanks to the fabulous teams at Big Picture and Live Nation. We also have to give honorable mentions to the bands we missed and those that Anna covered; Sleeping With Sirens, Memphis May Fire, Four Year Strong and The story So Far, she said they were killer! Actually though, I lied before, I did catch the very last tune of the The Story So Far, not bad. I trust Anna's opinion, over many photographers I have worked with, simply because she is a fellow musician and knows her shit.
The first band of the day I fully was able to see was, "Circa Survive". Finally joined Anna in shooting a few visuals, until my wrist with the TFCC injury was telling me to get out of the pit. They really need to make lefty cameras available everywhere, The doctors are always amazed when I tell them I use both my hands. As a lefty kid, I had to adapt to a world of right handed everythings. Writing in a notebook for instance, was and still is a pain in the ass! When writing with my right hand, the words always look like a kindergartners. Also, the spine of books in North America are usually on the left. My biggest lefty peeve for life though is, the smudges on the tip of the ring finger or pinky depending on how tired the writing hand is and what tools you are using. Lefty life ain't easy folks!
Seeing a band you've never really heard of for the first time, always has 3 outcomes... 1: They suck ass, 2: They are basic or 3: They blow you away immediately... Circa Survive, thankfully turned out to be a number three, I forgot my ear plugs so I couldn't handle any shit music. Front man Anthony Green, flew on the stage and seconds later flew off, to be closer the crowd. They were more than a little excited to see the band in action, these larries put on a set to remember. Not only was it visually amusing, vocals were on key through every jump. This was a great way to start off the musical adventure that is ROCKSTAR DISRUPT FESTIVAL! Circa Survive is: Anthony Green - Vox, Colin Frangicetto - Axe, Brendan Ekstrom - Axe, Nick Beard - Bass and Steve Clifford - Drums. If you have not seen this band live, grab tickets to the Disrupt fest near you and do it, trust me you will love them!
Once the sun was setting the lighting became more prominent, the sunset looked very cool and the photos would have been a little more magical had the stage been set up at different angle. After observing the stage situation, the lighting set up and direction of the sun, I noticed a CN Tower peek-a-boo behind the stage. That moment my OCD creative brain was obsessed with getting a shot of a band in front of it or at least someone floating in the area long enough to capture a viable visual. It was audience right, stage left where the towering Toronto landmark was visible and I finally got my shot!
Was absolutely happy with the visuals I did capture, Anna took some fantastic stills as usual, that is why we love it when she's able to shoot for us. Thrice never disappoints, although this set was slightly more mellow than previous performances I've seen, the musicianship was impeccable. As I stood back to watch Thrice rock some old tunes and new tracks from their recently released tenth studio record "Palms. Every breath felt like I was being hugged by a cloud of weed, there were so many herbal blends floating around, loved it. Such beauty of freedom cannot be loved more, and to think I was going to move to California. If I am going anywhere, it will be back home to kick it with the family in the motherland of civilization, my true home, Greece. For those who didn't care for flower power there were two VIP bars that I saw, on each side of the VIP area. The only huge problem with that was, they were right beside the bathrooms...I don't know who thought about that location for the porto's but by the end of Thrices' set those were beyond expired! Could not walk 20 feet without my body automatically gagging. Shitology is definitely not for me (Laughs), only fellow aviation industry veterans will understand that one.
By the time The Used was about to tear it up, the fans were on adrenaline level one hundred. Thrice hyped them up so much, they were more than ready for the headliners to grace them with their tunes. After a random animated black and white film projected on the just added stage curtains, obviously meant to hide the stage setup and crew doing the changeover. All was well until we were herded like cattle, to the other side of the pit. This is why I don't like shooting some events, the lack of respect sometimes. Fridae TV almost folded when my Attorney advised me to stop working completely for a while until my injuries are fully healed, if they ever do. We do this for you guys, the fans, the artists who deserve to be featured, we make no money from this website. The short film stopped, the curtains dropped and rushed out of the pit by the stage hands.
Out popped Vox Bert McCracken, soon followed by the sounds of the first tune of the set "Take It Away", from their sophomore record "In Love and Death". The performance was shorter than a usual set nice tracks played with a cover of Oasis' "Wonderwall" seems to be a favourite of many musicians. The show was exhilarating, the festival itself seemed very laid back decently organized but most importantly, the sound of the bands was epic! Go catch Rockstar Disrupt festival in a city near you, not all the bands are the same for each city so be sure to check your direct city to see who is rocking the stage for you.