Big Music Festival in KW!

wpid-img_20140714_094150.jpgAs you can hear above initially we (Mano A Mano) boycotted Big Music Festival when they refused to allow the Mano A Mano show to have media passes. Organizers of the Festival said “You guys aren’t big enough to have media passes”. Things changed when Slash refused to perform until we (Mano A Mano) got our “All Access” media passes.

wpid-20140713_192430.jpgBoth Days the weather was just beautiful! First thing we did when we got in there was hit the food tent to see what the artists were eating. I believe that the “All Access” area was catered by The Waterloo Inn. There were many self-serve platters of various salads, breads to make sandwiches, etc.  Then the entree’s were a choice between a beef medallion seen here and a chicken breast and some mashed potatoes. Everything looked good and I went with the beef. There were an assortment of Gatorade, Poweraide, coffee, Bob Marley drinks, water, pop etc.

wpid-20140713_183054.jpgThe first day we got there just in time for Moist who in our opinion stole the Saturday show. Their new songs were great and the classics sounded even better this time around.

The second day we were a little braver, and had our camera’s ready. We got there just in time for Big Wreck and walked up and got backstage. This was the most exciting part of the entire weekend. Seeing things from the back of the stage with that many people there and then having the bands walk past was very cool! All the techie’s in the back were very nice! Big Wreck didn’t acknowledge any of us and just walked past but I’m sure they were just “in the zone”.

wpid-img_20140714_094541.jpgNext up this guy who was very unfriendly and seemingly like head of security started tightening things up. This was understandable since Slash was up next and then Aerosmith. The only problem I had with this was the way that he was going about doing it….threatening people with kicking them out and having them arrested – it seemed a bit excessive.  Anyways, suddenly our “All Access” passes didn’t get us “All Access” anymore…it was more limited to a small section.

wpid-img_20140714_093946.jpgI was particularly excited to see Slash, because The Age of Electric front man, Todd Kerns was going to be playing Bass for them. They didn’t want to talk to anyone before the show and their Van pulled up right to the side of the stage (where we were no longer allowed) They got out went right to the stage and put on the best performance of the Sunday night show. They played a bunch of new songs off Slash’s new album and then finished off the set with a few Guns & Roses songs which really got the crowd going. bigmusicfest3

We have a photo here of Todd Kerns (the guy who looks like he is terrified to go down the ramp) They decide to go the back way to walk past the “All Access” people so that they could snap a few shots. We were able to get close enough to take a shot of Slash

bigmusicfest2Then everyone jumped in the van. Todd Kerns noticed my Age of Electric T-shirt and came back, shook my hand and said “Nice Shirt” and then hopped in the van and they were gone. It was pretty exciting! I have met Todd Kerns many times and he is one of my favourite artists and his brief gesture just reinstated why.

wpid-20140713_212934.jpgI feel that the American bands create a separation between “celebrity” and “radio person” or “celebrity” and “listener” where they are guarded from us. They will allow you to enjoy their music but don’t want you to get too close. For me this makes the music less personal. Although Aerosmith played their stuff perfectly, it felt like a machine up there playing the music that I had no personal connection to. Todd Kerns reaching out (even just briefly) reminded me why I like Canadian music because I feel like the artists are more genuine towards their fans and will do things like sign an autograph or take time to not only perform but also take a photo etc. to make it more of an experience for the die hard fans.

wpid-20140713_214633.jpgAnyways, next up was Aerosmith. They were great! Equally great was the chocolate cake in the food tent that we were now allowed back into.

At this point I  Facebooked Todd Kerns and told him about the great chocolate cake that was happening in the All Access food tent while we enjoyed Aerosmith! I was hoping he would make an appearance to get a photo opportunity. Perhaps the Slash entourage was already out of there or off enjoying Aerosmith somewhere, unfortunately he didn’t show up.

All together it was a great festival! Aerosmith closed things out playing “Dream on”, which I was especially excited to hear and it was a great version of the song. (at least this is how it ended for me as I rushed to beat the crowd to get out of there)

The most disappointing part of the night was how all the people parked (at least where we were) on a side road, all got $20 parking tickets for parking in the same spot for over 3 hours. Who knew! The city of Kitchener made out like bandits not only on Big Music Fest renting out the park but also on all the people attending who now have to pay an additional $20 on top of their possibly $130 tickets.  That by-law officer can take the rest of the year off because he probably went well beyond his yearly quota.



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