5 Must-see artists at CityFolk's first three days
The 2017 edition of the festival starts hot and stays hot.
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Coming out of the gate slowly isn’t really an option at CityFolk this year.
Things get seriously hot beginning opening night Wednesday when the festival launches at Lansdowne Park.
There are a whopping 17 shows over the festival’s first three days before the weekend hits – and deciding who to see and who to skip out on will be a torturous soul-tearing exercise for even the most savvy of music fans simply because it’s impossible to be at two places at once.
Here’s our top picks for the first few days of CityFolk. We’ve torn our souls in advance, so you don’t have to.
Anyone who says Post Malone is just another rapper probably doesn’t know the difference between lemon meringue and cherry pie. The Dallas-raised artist is a singer, songwriter, producer and guitarist who weaves together modern music so smooth it slides right under your skin without notice. It won’t be just Malone alone on stage crooning to beats on an iPod; this cat brings a full band with him, and they’re as tight as hipster denim. Show up early and catch Edmonton’s Ruth B and she’ll fly you off to Neverland with the rest of her Lost Boys.
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
Thursday is when the juggling really begins, but if you’re a fan of gritty Memphis soul, you’ll be lined up at the City Stage before work is over to catch Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. Typically seen wearing his denim-on-denim Canadian tuxedo and Stetson hat, it doesn’t take Rateliff long to channel his inner Chuck Berry or Otis Redding. Rateliff and the Nightsweats will get you dancing long before you finish your beer. It will likely end up on your shoes.
The Suitcase Junket
As Jack Johnson is wrapping up his show on the City Stage, put your shoes back on and head to the RavenLaw Stage inside the Aberdeen Pavilion and catch Matt Lorenz, a.k.a. The Suitcase Junket. A one-man tour de force, the Suitcase Junket will carry you away to the dusty back porches and dark watering holes where his novel sound was born. Welding a dirty guitar he salvaged from a dumpster, and a DIY setup he’s tinkered together out of junkyard parts, Lorenz will take you away with his rusty voice and cool cadence that mimics a poisoned Bob Dylan.
Brooklyn’s venerable four-piece Big Thief have, by way of their New-York indie flare, made folk music cool again, weaving together singer Adrianna Lenker’s thoughtful and provocative lyrics with a lo-fi indie sound that is fun, explosive and crazy loud. Don’t get too comfortable with the sound, though: Big Thief will quickly deceive you with jarring tempo changes and dubious directional dives that are impossible to predict.
It won’t take long for Son Little’s smooth peanut butter voice to melt your festival lawn chair into a heap of fabric and aluminum. The preacher and teacher from Los Angeles pays homage to vintage soul while moving the rhythm and blues ball forward past the goal line. Trust in Little and he won’t disappoint.