PHOTOGRAPHED FOR VANDALA MAGAZINE
Sonic Boom Festival is exactly what it sounds like; A gathering in the heart of Edmonton, featuring some of the sickest bands and artists in modern rock today, all coming together to create one loud, energetic, boomer of a festival! This was my first time shooting a music festival of this magnitude, and I can't begin to tell you how excited I was to be there. Despite the downer overcast and rainy weather, the bands totally rocked out and gave it their all, while hundreds of people, decked out in rain ponchos with umbrellas in hand, still flocked to Borden Park in Edmonton, Alberta on September 5th and 6th to check out what was in store over the weekend. With the announcement of the broken up hardcore-heavy weights, ALEXISONFIRE, reuniting for the summer, and as the event's main headliner, anticipation to see this band was thick throughout the weekend among festival goers.
Saturday September 5th - Day #1 of Sonic Boom fest consisted of a variety of interesting bands, all delivering nothing short of epic performances, leaving their fans screaming and begging for more. Kick off talent that took the stage for day one were as follows: Young Empires, Gay Nineties, K-OS, Robert DeLong, St.Lucia, Kongos, TV on the Radio, Brandon Flowers, Hozier, and headlined by the "folktronica" queen herself, Ellie Goulding. The energy of day one was coagulating throughout the park as day turned to night. Smiling faces could be seen in every direction, and positive vibes were all around; Seeing this, personally, made my time at the festival even more enjoyable. Feeling the passion and love for music abundant in the air sure makes me one happy gal.
Though missing out on getting shots of Brandon Flowers and Hozier due to the artists not wanting any photography during their performances, I managed to capture a few cool moments of the other artists on Saturday's bill.
Sunday September 6th - Day #2 of the festival hosted a stacked bill of bands that I couldn't wait to have in front of my lens. Kicking off the rainy day with The Zolas, as the perfect band to get the crowd of early-bird festival goers warmed up (both literally and figuratively) for what was in store. The day progressed on with the talented likes of: The Elwins, Eagles of Death Metal, Big Data, Rural Alberta Advantage, Tokyo Police Club, The Flaming Lips, Mother Mother, Tenacious D, and the much anticipated, ALEXISONFIRE, as our headliner for the evening. Though the rain showed no mercy to festival workers and attendees, everyone seemed to have high spirits. Smiles were still in abundance on the many faces of people bundled up in their best weather-proof attire. Despite how energetic and dynamic the bill was for day one of Sonic Boom, day two brought the heat. Countless colourful characters stormed the stage with an appetite for the resonance of rock through the stage amps and monitors. Intensity and power flooded the stage with each act as they boomed and bashed their way through their performances. The audience went wild with the confetti cannons that the Flaming Lips shot into the rainy air, while pushing out into the crowd, an enormous cluster of balloons that were taped together to spell out: "F*CK YEAH EDMONTON".
Upon nightfall, the crowd's restlessness was gaining in the atmosphere. Excitement was stirring, and boy, it was contagious! As a black, curtain-like backing stage banner fell to the ground, revealing a heart-skull logo, ALEXISONFIRE took to the dimly lit, red cast stage, greeted by hundreds of screaming fans. Despite the frigid fall air, the audience erupted into a frenzy of worm-rolling crowd surfers, and mosh-pit-maniacs; A pleasant sight for a temporarily reunited band, and heartwarming for a musician in general. The experience of headlining a renowned festival such as Sonic Boom, accompanied by the well received, purely passionate audience, who stayed tough all weekend long throughout the dreary weather, has to be something that the dudes of ALEXISONFIRE won't soon forget! Here's to more sweet reunion shows, see ya next year Sonic Boom!