Chad VanGaalen Arts Court, Ottawa ON, August 23
Published Aug 24, 2014Chad VanGaalen's headless Steinberger electric guitar easily ranks as the strangest instrument that was seen onstage throughout the entire Arboretum Festival. In what was a relatively laid-back, intimate set, the Calgary native and his two bandmates took the audience on a trip just as unique as the instrument he was commanding the audience's attention with.
After beginning his set with a noisy few moments of guitar feedback, VanGaalen pulled out a selection of tracks from his back catalogue and this year's Polaris Music Prize long list pick Shrink Dust, featuring the gentle and unsettling duality of "Cut Off My Hands" and a stripped down, harmonica-accompanied version of "Hangman's Son." Special guest Julie Fader, also known for her work with Sarah Harmer and Great Lake Swimmers, joined him for a duet on the quaint "City of Electric Light" and a few other tracks as a special treat nearer to the end of the set, a nice soundtrack to these final days of summer.
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