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Calgary Stampede: Day 7 – Octi-Lollipops and Fantastic Dream-Pop

All Photos by Ceilidh McQuillan

On July 10, 2019 individuals from all over the world headed over to day 7 of the Calgary Stampede to eat a variety of unique foods such as the Octi-Lollipop, an octopus tentacle on a stick (sounds disgusting but apparently it is to die for according to stampede go-ers), ride their favourite rides, play their favourite carnival games and most importantly watch live performances at various venues across the stampede grounds.

I headed over to the Coca-Cola Stage to catch a performance from local Calgary art rock band Braids (no not the hairstyle as one may expect.) Although Braids is from Calgary, Alberta, they are currently living their lives to the fullest in Montreal, Quebec. The local band is currently formed of members Raphaelle Standell-Preston (Vocalist), Austin Tufts and Taylor Smith. Braids formed their group way back in their highschool years during 2006, releasing their debut album Native Speaker in 2011.

The art rock band came back to their hometown to perform a quick set at the Calgary Stampede Coca-Cola Stage and enjoy all the festivities that come along with the Stampede. It was a chilly evening but that did not scare Braids away from putting on a captivating performance at the Coke Stage. The band took to the stage to put on a mesmerizing performance for the crowd with their dream-pop sound. The Calgary band performed songs such as “Letting Go,” “Lemonade,” and my personal favourite “Miniskirt”

Calgary Stampede Day 6 – Rainbow Night at The Stampede 

All Photos by Ceilidh McQuillan

On July 9, 2019 German pop singer Bülow and Brooklyn, NY artist King Princess hit the Coca-Cola Stage.

Bülow kicked off the show with a soft and mellow performance of her pop hits. The German artist performed songs such as “Get Stüpid,” “Not A Love Song,” and her 2019 single “Sweet Little Lies”

By the time Bülow left the stage, the Calgary Stampede grounds were packed in anticipation for the 20 year old Brooklyn favorite King Princess to hit the stage. King Princess started the set with interlude “Useless Phrases” then transitioned into my personal favorite “Cheap Queen.” Shortly after stepping foot on the stage King Princess jumped off the stage to sign a fans Pride Canadian flag in the front row. King Princess put on an absolutely energetic performance with her unique axe-based songs, and it’s been far too long since we’ve had any axe-based songs hit the pop charts. The 20 year old artist had everyone dancing for her entire set with her top songs such as “1950,” “Talia,” and “Pussy Is God”.

See photos from both acts below:

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Calgary Stampede Day 5 – A Rapper’s Delight

All Photos by Ceilidh McQuillan

On July 8, 2019 Toronto rapper, Lil Berete and Florida rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer T-Pain headed to the Calgary Stampede’s Coca-Cola Stage to perform their biggest hits.

This was by far the busiest performance for all of stampede. The crowd was full by 6pm and the show didn’t even start until 8pm. Everyone was talking and dancing around in anticipation for this event.

Lil Berete kicked off the show at 8pm. Showing up in a white cowboy hat perfect for the Calgary Stampede, Lil Berete invited DJ RoseGold  to help him perform along with his friends who he invited to dance and take selfies onstage with him. The Toronto rapper performed songs such as “Go N Get It” and “Goat Cheese”

The anticipation and energy of the crowd continued in the buildup to the next set. As soon as T-Pain walked onstage the crowd went absolutely crazy for him. The performance started off with some minor audio issues that resulted in him not being able to start his performance for an additional 5 minutes, however that did not stop this crowd from cheering in support of him. It was a night full of throwback songs from the late 2000’s like “Buy You A Drink,” “Bartender” and “I’m N Luv”, and his newer releases.

See photos from Day 5:

Calgary Stampede Day 4 – Indie Rock Veterans Take The Stage

All Photos by Ceilidh McQuillan

On July 7, 2019 Brampton, Ontario based band Moneen and Nashville based band Dashboard Confessional took to the Coca-Cola Stage at the Calgary Stampede. The atmosphere of the Stampede completely changed the night of the show and instead of cowboys and cowgirls filling the crowd, it was full of dyed hair, piercings and mosh pits. I absolutely loved it. An energetic crowd always means that a great show is about to happen.

Moneen kicked off the night by opening for Dashboard Confessional. The popularity of this twenty year old band has not faded one bit over the last two decades. The crowd went absolutely crazy for them. Everyone in the crowd was either jumping or taking part in one of the many mosh pits that formed within the crowd. Moneen got the crowd hyped by playing songs such as “Are We Really Happy With Who We Are,” “Accidents Are On Purpose” and “Don’t Ever Tell Locke What He Can’t Do”

But the true highlight of the night came with the next act. At the height of their career in 2003 every emo kid had posters up in their rooms of Dashboard Confessional. They were one of everyone’s favorite emo bands. Everybody was and still is swooning over heartthrob vocalist, Chris Carrabba. Although you may not hear Dashboard on the top radio charts anymore, they are still strongly loved by all their fans. Many fans in the crowd were there to throwback to their teenage years in 2003, while younger fans who may have more recently discovered the band were absolutely in awe to be seeing them perform for their first time.

The crowd started to go crazy and got more energetic as the night went on, and were belting the words to every song. Dashboard played their hits such as “Hands Down” “Vindicated” and “Belong”

See photos from both acts below:

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Calgary Stampede: Day 3 – Sunny Days At The Coca-Cola Stage

All Photos by Ceilidh McQuillan

Day 3 of the Calgary Stampede has so far been the best day yet with performances by Dear Rouge and Bishop Briggs. The afternoon started off with a thunderstorm but quickly turned into a sunny evening perfectly in time for the Coca-Cola Stage performances.

Dear Rouge kicked off the show playing their songs “Live Through The Night” and “Modern Shakedown.” Lead vocalist Danielle McTaggart showed up in a stunning full yellow outfit with sequin flowers. The duo of Danielle and Drew McTaggart put on an incredibly energetic show and ended the set by jumping into the crowd to get closer with fans.

Bishop Briggs hit the stage shortly after to perform her hits such as “River” and “Never Tear Us Apart.” Bishop Briggs had to have put on one of the most energetic performances that the Coca-Cola Stage has ever seen. She had the crowd jumping and dancing from start to finish, while she ran around the stage singing her heart out. A highlight of day 3, Bishop was definitely a standout performance from all the acts I’ve seen so far.

Check out photos from Day 3 below:

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Calgary Stampede: Day 2 – Kicking Off The Stampede

All Photos by Ceilidh McQuillan

On July 5, 2015 Orville Peck and Feist headed to the Coca-Cola stage at Calgary stampede to perform a mix of upbeat songs you can get up and dance to and raw acoustic intimate songs.

I was absolutely gushing when Orville Peck started off the show with an energetic performance that managed to get the crowd pumped up for the rest of the night. The Alternative/Country artist performed fan favorites such as “Dead of Night” and “Winds Change” and many more. One very interesting thing regarding Orville Peck is his utilization of different masks to hide his identity while performing on stage – probably cause no one likes being bombarded by fans on the street when you’re trying to run errands like getting groceries!

1234….The sun started to set, and local Calgary artist Feist came out to perform a set filled with her hits such as “1234” “Fire in The Water” and “Mushaboom.” Feist came out in a stunning floral dress and white heeled boots. The entire crowd went silent during each song, and you could really tell that everyone was in complete awe of her voice, waiting till her last note of each song before they would start to roar and cheer in admiration.

See photos from day two below:

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Calgary Stampede: Day 1 – A Sneak Peek Into Calgary Stampede

All Photos by Ceilidh McQuillan

On Thursday, July 4, 2019, Calgary Stampede (https://www.calgarystampede.com/) hosted a small “Sneak Peek” night at 5 pm for anyone who was too excited to wait until morning to start their Stampede fun.

This sneak peek included a rainy performance at the Coca-Cola Stage from two incredible Canadian bands: Royal Canoe from Ontario and Manitoba, and Local Calgary band, Reuben and The Dark.

It rained from 9 am through to the night, but the wet and slippery conditions did not stop anyone from having a great first night at Stampede.  We were all drenched, freezing, and covered in mud together!

Royal Canoe kicked off the night with an incredible musical performance. They performed a wide range of their music from new EP RC3PO, to some throwbacks from their 2013 album, Today We’re Believers, and my personal favorite song “Bathtubs”

Reuben and The Dark kicked off their set with Reuben immediately jumping onto the speakers at the front of the stage to get closer to the audience, while performing “You and I”, a song that demonstrated the incredible vocals we would be hearing for the rest of the show. The intimate set-list concluded with Reuben jumping into the crowd for the last song , and bringing a few fans on stage to finish the night. This band never fails to amaze me with how intimate they make all of their shows, they always make the crowd feel right at home.

Check out some photos from the show below:

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Shea - Perrier featuring Postwar

Shea feat Postwar – Perrier (produced by Uthoria)

Perrier ACTUALLY challenges toxic masculinity...on a Hip-Hop song!

Perrier reminded me that I have a confession to make…

…when I hear any music that is super lit, I temporarily (remember that word) become enslaved by the beat. I transform into my alter-ego – we’ll call him Benson – and find myself at the mercy of the track’s 808s and hypnotizing hooks.

The keyword here is (remember that earlier reference!), temporarily. Melodies without substance is like an ocean without water, you may find value in the treasures hidden deep beneath the surface, but an ocean’s most valuable commodity is sitting lazily, in plain view…

…water. As in Perrier.

Produced by Uthoria, Perrier has a hypnotic beat that will swiftly lift the listeners out of their seats. However, this track is far from being merely a dope melody without substance. Maybe it’s the “true head” in me, but I listen for the hidden meaning behind every lyric, including the hook. So when I first heard Shea spittin the hook on this track –

That’s that Perrier, That’s that Perrier

– the first thing I thought was, “Why Perrier? Not just any water, but PERRIER, top of the line sparkiling water.” Right then I knew this would be an arrogant track.

And I love every second of it.

Maybe I’m over analyzing Shea’s intentions with this track, but Perrier seems unabashedly flamboyant. This is a direct challenge to society’s idea of what masculinity is. Shea even spits about his “nails being fresh like he just came out the shop.”

Even the artwork for Perrier defies the traditional image of masculinity.

Shea - Perrier featuring Postwar

Shea continues to flash, as he begins the first verse:

Pull up drip need that water on my neck/
Shine is niagra that VS with the mink/
She don’t even know what she do to the kid/
I’m just Perrier when I step up in the bih

Postwar’s contribution to Perrier also drips hard. On some gangsta ish, he spits:

Im a lit rich bi–h/
Never everrollin up without my clique/
My clique got killas sh– been illa /
Ask for a collab I don’t fuck wit em

However, his next bars prove that supports Perrier’s main theme:

I can’t get it babe/
Know I mean it in the best of ways/
I’m too good for you broke ones/
Pass a sparkling cold one I’m on one

Perrier has all of the elements that make it a great song: a catchy hook, great lyrics, lit production, and replay value. This one will definitely go on my playlist. I’m thirsty for good music, and Perrier is just what I need to quench that thirst.

Hear more music and follow all of Shea’s social links from: https://musicbyshea.com

Hear more of Postwar’s music at: https://soundcloud.com/postwartunes