I’ve always been a fan of attending concerts in smaller Ontario towns. The people are friendlier and the crowds are amped up that their town is holding a major festival. Cornwall Lift-Off 2012 far exceeded my expectations. I walked on site to find a fair, a huge stage and hot air balloons that were being prepped for use later that night.
Elly May was the first band to hit the stage at around 5:15. They got the crowd warmed up with some original songs as well as covers. After that Tyler Kealey came out and entertained the antsy crowd with some piano rock. I stood off to the side and while the bands played I watched several people with lawn chairs in the third row yell at younger/very excited Marianas Trench fans who were standing up in front of them. That had to be my only complaint about the festival. If you’re going to allow lawn chairs to be opened on site then specify an area for them. I felt for the younger fans who just wanted to be as close as possible with their signs and homemade t-shirts.
At 8pm The New Cities hit the stage and instantly energized the crowd. After I shot a few songs I walked back to the crowd and was stopped by a security guard who pointed at the 6 band members on stage and went “Wow! These guys are really good! I’m a fan now!” That seemed to be the feeling in the crowd as even the fans who didn’t know the words were dancing and screaming at the top of their lungs. The band played their hit single “Heatwave” which could not have been more appropriate in the 35+ degree weather. Lead singer David Brown took some time to run into the crowd and sing to those standing towards the back. They had the crowd dancing with songs like Mugshot and Get Connected. They then toned things down a little bit with Lost in City Lights and Sleep. As they prepared to play their final two songs a glitch on their computer, due to the extreme humidity, had their set cut short. The band left the stage somewhat deflated but thanks to a quick fix they were back on stage within minutes. As they sang their last song Mariana’s Trench lead singer Josh Ramsay ran on stage and lifted David Brown high in the air with the help of their technician.
There was complete pandemonium every time the crowd caught sight of the guys from Marianas Trench backstage. The Vancouver band finally hit the stage at 9:30pm. They opened the show with Josh Ramsay alone on the stage singing the opening verses to Ever After. It seemed like Josh Ramsay was in a great mood last night as he told the crowd an embarrassing story about the band and kept the fan interaction impressively high. During Stuttering he ran directly into the crowd, much to the fans extreme delight, and sang the entire song to different sections.
He then informed the crowd that it was drummer Ian Casselmans birthday the next day and that every year they prepare stunts for fellow band members on the stage. This year Ian had the privilege of being fed an entire birthday cake from opening band The New Cities while Josh took to the drums. After having enough Ian took the rest of the cake and ran around the stage feeding bassist Mike Ayley and guitarist Matt Webb. After that it was into the crowd to shove some cake into the faces of eager fans. The band continued with songs off their new album like Fallout, Porcelain and Desperate Measures. During the encore Josh brought out singer Jessica Lee to help with their duet of Good To You. The night ended with a powerful rendition of Cross My Heart and promises of visiting Cornwall again soon.
Full Gallery for The New Cities:
Full Gallery for Marianas Trench: