Festival Music House’s second night is a bluesy, country, rock ’n’ roll affair, with Sam Roberts and more

Festival Music House’s second night is a bluesy, country, rock ’n’ roll affair, with Sam Roberts and more

Sam Roberts (Image: Ryan Emberley) 

Yesterday we gave you a play by play of night one at Festival Music House, and last night we were back, ogling the good-looking crowd and dancing to the incredible bands. While night one drew limited numbers until K’naan’s headlining set, night two filled the house early. Perhaps it was the promise of the open bar that drew media and industry patrons to Mod Club last night, but most likely it was the killer Canadian lineup: performing last night were Whitehorse, Ladies of the Canyon, Lights, The Sheepdogs (who recently graced the cover of Rolling Stone, becoming the first unsigned band ever to do so) and the Sam Roberts Band. Check out who was there and how well everyone performed after the jump.

We arrived at Mod Club as Ladies of the Canyon were finishing their set, and from what we could hear they are a solid country band. According to crowd banter, the night’s opener, Whitehorse, also rocked the stage. While Lights certainly gave it her all tonight (the girl has quite the impressive vocal range), the crowd favourite seemed (by audience participation alone) to be The Sheepdogs. The long-haired rockers crooned classic blues and rock ’n’ roll, sparking aggressive dancing that made the evening feel like a real concert rather than a media and industry showcase. Sam Roberts was also a favourite—the band played hit after hit, encouraging crowd sing-alongs to known tunes like “Don’t Walk Away Eileen” and “I Feel You.”

We weren’t the only ones enjoying the night’s live music—we spotted director Matt Austin Sadowski, Thomas Michael, Piers Handling and Niv Fishman, Jian Ghomeshi (likely there to support Lights, whom he manages), Being Erica star Adam Fergus and TIFF Rising Star Katie Boland (she was there on night one too). Also on hand were Noah Reid, from last year’s TIFF opening gala film, Score: A Hockey Musical, another Being Erica star, Sebastian Pigott, (there with girlfriend Boland), and Jefferson Brown. In addition to the typical Canadian actor spotting, we saw Drive and W.E.’s Oscar Isaac by the bar, and we could have sworn we saw Seth Rogen, but it turned out to be a lookalike. As one attendee said, last night’s crowd was one of those “everyone is good-looking and vaguely familiar” crowds, but whether Rogen was there or not, it didn’t matter—the bar was open, the place was packed, and most importantly, the music truly rocked.