By Kristin Archer
Photos by Lisa Vuyk (unless otherwise stated)
As I said in the beginning, this was my fifth Supercrawl. Now in its seventh year, it is so rewarding and exciting to watch the tradition grow and I’m honoured to be part of it in any way!
Part 4: Sunday, September 13th
A frequent stop throughout the weekend was Smalls Coffee, who helped keep us energized. The take away coffee shop was only open for about a month at that point; Supercrawl was no doubt an overwhelming undertaking. The staff worked tirelessly and their drinks are always top notch.
It was a busy weekend for new food spots – along with Smalls, other new businesses to open were The Mule, Knead Pizza, Lake Road Restaurant, Saint James Espresso Bar & Eatery, and a teaser for Mesa. Foodies, rejoice!
Lisa and I hit the ground running again at noon on Sunday, first to see Black Rhino Riot. I was pleased to see the local band have their Supercrawl rite of passage moment. They have such a knack for writing catchy tunes and we’ll be hearing a lot more from them.
Next it was over to catch one of my main picks for the weekend, Twin Within. I love this new project from Steve McKay and Alex Samaras (check out my pre-Supercrawl interview with them). Sunday had a more laid-back feel and some of acts even played lengthier sets. This was the case with Twin Within, and I wasn’t complaining! I continued my tradition of being front row every time I see them. The pair was joined by Benjamin Theodore Schillaci, David Appleyard, and Ryan Fisher (of local band Dizzy Spells) to round out the band, plus a couple more musicians on strings. Twin Within have such a magical quality about their music and are bringing something really unique to the table. Steve and Alex amaze me every time with their harmonies. They are a joy to watch, and hilarious with their banter in between songs.
I didn’t anticipate us catching as many bands as we did on Sunday. There was a solid block in the afternoon when we were racing from stage to stage, also while taking the time to have a better look at the vendors.
Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer were next on our list. I discovered the blues rock Vancouver band back in March when the JUNOs were in town. They were up for a JUNO that weekend when I saw them at The Casbah. It was a treat to get to hear those stomping bluesy tunes again; they’re fantastic.
A huge crowd filled the Dr. Disc lot to see the fabulous Laura Cole. It was no surprise to see Laura and the band in this year’s Supercrawl lineup. She is a star on the rise and is one of our most exciting local talents. I’m always excited to see her and to sing along to all of tunes off her debut, Dirty Cheat. New material from the band to come – keep an ear out!
The blues vibe continued from Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer and Laura Cole, all the way to Steve Strongman who was next to take the main stage. I haven’t seen Steve nearly enough, but every time I do, I’m reminded how amazing he is. He owed that stage. Another incredible hometown talent!
A highlight from the street included running into performance artist from Montreal, Coral Short, who was walking around as her live art installation Plush. How can you not smile just looking at her? So fun!
We also caught a set by Hamilton favourite Hayden at the Colbourne Street stage as we hungrily chowed down on pizza slices from newly opened Knead across the street. It’s another new resto that has since finalized their menu since a Supercrawl soft open.
Another area we had yet to explore was the Family Zone on York Street. There were lots more vendors and yet another stage. We knew we had to catch Fred Penner. He’s another artist I saw during the JUNOs in Hamilton and was really happy to see again. It’s such a joyful and nostalgic experience to see Mr. Fred Penner. It was the cutest thing to see the kids dancing around and families sitting around on hay bale seats.
Understandably, we were really losing steam at this point. But Supercrawl wasn’t complete before Sunday’s headliner Daniel Lanois took to the main stage. The legendary producer behind artists U2, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Neil Young, and more, is also a great musician in his own right. He played songs off this latest experimental album Flesh And Machine.
Lisa and I rewarded ourselves with a couple of Collective Arts brews in the VIP tent while we listened to the remaining of Lanois’ set. The painful irony here is that right after his last song, the sun cracked through the clouds and you would never have known how much rain we endured all weekend. I know I expressed an audible, “Argghhh!” in frustration. But the ironic ending didn’t change how much fun we had all weekend.
We were exhausted, but you can’t have Supercrawl without the after party. It was fitting to end the weekend the way I started it – with snacks and drinks at The Mule. The tacos, tequila, and bourbon joint has some fantastic cocktails, but we weren’t messing around – bourbon, straight up! We shared some chips with their delicious Queso Fundido dip and of course a selection of their tacos.
After party time! Rah Rah were ready to rock Mills Hardware. I was bummed to have missed them the day before, so this was perfect. It was an intimate show as the band played brand new tracks off their latest album Vessels, out now on local label Hidden Pony. We celebrated Supercrawl’s successful 7th year by tossing Rah Rah’s signature balloons in the air!
I’d say I Heart Hamilton outdid itself with Supercrawl coverage this year, but there’s always too much to get to. The Fashion Zone did a fantastic job all weekend and I was sorry I didn’t get to see the shows. There were also talks over at Mills Hardware – another new component. Overall, we managed to see a huge amount of the programming, and my hat’s off to the entire Supercrawl dream team for another phenomenal year!