The Jesus and Mary Chain, Explosions in the Sky among biggest names
Maud Salvi is kicking off her reign as head of Sled Island with a boom.
With Lindsay Shedden no longer the executive director of Sled, Salvi is coming over from POP Montreal to take the wheel for 2013, and if the headliners are any indicator, this will be a Sled to remember.
Patrick Dwyer, whose band Thee Oh Sees played one of the most memorable shows in Sled history, and Tim Hecker, who won Calgarians over last summer during Sled by playing shows in the dark, were also critical in the lineup selection as the curators for this year. Both these artists were officially revealed during the headliner announcements, to the surprise of no one.
The three have teamed up to give Calgary an incredible list of headliners, which were announced at Commonwealth on Mar. 5.
The biggest name on the head- liner liner is The Jesus and Mary Chain, who will be playing their first show in Calgary since they reunited in 2007. This marks the first time that 1988 since they played. As of now, their only dates in 2013 are in Barcelona and here in Calgary, making the fact that they are playing monumental.
Post-rock band Explosions In The Sky will also be a huge draw, as the Texans have a following around the world and in Calgary, as they proved with their amazing set back in 2011. Despite having no vocals, their music has an emotional, resounding effect in listeners, which will make them a great headliner at Olympic Plaza.
There will be at least one “supergroup” playing, although they really do not like it when you call them that. Divine Fits is comprised of Britt Daniel (Spoon), Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs) and Sam Fischel (New Bomb Turks).
Spoon has played Sled before, so Daniel should have no problems leading this new supertroupe around the city. Fans may start salivating over the prospect of having any of Divine Fit’s members main bands play Sled as well. It would be crazy if all three did, but time will tell as only the headliners have been released.
Swans has been making music for over thirty years, which is a long time to not have toured to Calgary. Many feel that this show has been a long time coming, especially with the amount of acts that have come to Calgary that have been inspired by Swans. Their hit album last year, The Seer,showed they aren’t slowing down any time soon.
Colin Stetson will be making his solo debut in Calgary, but don’t think that it means he is a stranger to the city. Many Calgarians have had the pleasure of seeing Stetson, perhaps with- out even realizing it.
When he isn’t making Polaris nominated albums with his mastery of the bass sax, he tours frequently with Arcade Fire, Bon Iver and Belle Orchestra. If you haven’t caught him live with those acts, it is also possible that you’ve heard him perform on recordings for David Byrne, Tom Waits or even Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
Joel Plaskett has been described as “Canada’s hardest- working national treasure” (the Grid) and for those who have seen him live, the comparison is not hard to believe. With his catchy riffs and undeniable charisma, Plaskett has made fans all throughout Canada through relentless touring with his band, Joel Plaskett Emergency, and with the solid discography he’s amassed over the years.
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion will be one of the older headline acts playing, as they’ve been around for since 1991. Imagine an act that has the smooth style of the Black Keys with the showmanship of the Rolling Stones, and you’ll begin to understand why the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion has been winning fans over for decades.
Mac DeMarco and Metz, two Canadian gems, will fill out the headlining roster.
Many of these artists will either be making their first stops in Calgary or will be returning for the first time in a years. With the exception of Joel Plaskett, who headlined Folk Fest back in 2011, Calgary will have to brush up on these artists to get acquainted with them in time for Sled Island.
Hopefully, all of the acts who are scheduled to play actually make it to the festival. Last year, it was unfortunate that Grimes, who was announced as one of the headliners, was unable to play the show.
It hasn’t yet been announced how TSN personalities Jay Onrait and Dave Hodge will be taking part in the festival. Both of them were revealed to be playing a part in Sled Island when the curators were announced, but that proved only to be a tease as nothing more has been said on the matter.