Sled Island: BeatRoute Magazine Cotton Candy Party

On the road with my band, NEEDS, it almost seemed as though the cloudy prairie skies parted as we drove in to Calgary late Thursday afternoon. Fears of any potential flooding this year were on everyone’s mind but there wasn’t even so much as a drizzle as we made our way to the artist check-in at the fancy schmancy Paliser Hotel in the middle of the downtown core.

Now fully armed with our Sled Island wristbands we headed over to Leo Boutique, Calgary’s number one Nudie Jeans destination centre, to say hello to the friendly staff and pick up some much-needed festival attire. With everyone in my band suited in brand new Nudie Jeans we were ready to walk over to Central United Church to take in the stunning audio & visual assault of Oneohtrix Point Never.

The sad thing about a festival as stacked with talent as Sled Island is that you just can’t take everything in and the harsh reality we had to swallow on this particular evening was that we weren’t going to get to see Killer Mike because he was on the same time NEEDS was playing the BeatRoute Magazine Cotton Candy Party at the Bamboo.

In-between shows, I snuck outside to have a quick chat with Screaming Females frontwoman, Marissa Paternoster. “As I was leaving the house earlier today to catch our plane my dad asked me if this festival was called Slut Island,” she laughed. “I almost think it would be better if it was.” Stay tuned for more from our conversation!

Screaming Females are a band that should be added to everyone’s must-see list. Marissa Paternoster is a little firecracker on stage and I guarantee you that you have never seen anyone shred like her before. Well respected amongst her musical peers like J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr and even Jack White and infamous Chicago producer Steve Albini, this girl may only be 27 years old but she has the chops of a very established player plus a backing band that really lets her shine.

Sled Island started with a bang and definitely left me wanting more. With a full weekend ahead of us we packed up our gear and went back to our hotel so we could get maximum sledding in.

Photo and words: Glenn Alderson.

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