Despite the horrid weather and what some would call a questionable lineup; SonicBoom 2015 managed to exceed expectations and provide a kickass weekend full of outstanding performances. Here are the top five things that made Sonic Boom 2015 worth seeing this year. Even if you didn’t have fun, at least it wasn’t cancelled like Calgary’s X-Fest.
5. Free Rain Ponchos
Throughout the entire weekend, Borden Park was transformed into a soggy, muddy mess courtesy of constant rain and heavy foot traffic. For those festival goers who were inadequately dressed for the downpour, or anyone who wanted to maintain a certain level of dryness, the rain ponchos were a godsend. Not only did they protect against the everlasting drizzle, but also from spilt drinks, muddy falls, and pukers.
4. Ellie Goulding
Perhaps the most eyebrow raising aspect of the original lineup announcement was the inclusion of English synth-pop artist Ellie Goulding. The confusion came from the fact that Sonic 102.9 had never played an Ellie Goulding song before, yet she was headlining the station’s annual festival. It seemed that most general festivalgoers were apprehensive about Goulding’s place in the lineup, and were unsure as to whether her performance would be worthwhile. When she finally arrived on stage Saturday night, she proved that she’d forever hold a place in the Sonic Boom lineup. Her shimmering vocals and melodic synths brought a remarkable energy to the stage, surprising almost all in attendance.
3. Eagles of Death Metal
California rockers Eagles of Death Metal amped up a growing crowd on cold and moist day two. Through upbeat songs, constant jokes and hilarious interaction with the audience, front man Jesse Hughes brought a shining energy to a damp and disheartened crowd. Showcasing an unbeatable blend of classic rock riffs and tongue-in-cheek lyrics, Eagles of Death Metal provided a phenomenal early day performance.
After a tumultuous and bitter breakup driven by the pursuit of multiple band members’ side projects, Alexisonfire fans sat in limbo wondering if they would ever see the band play again. Alexisonfire’s closing performance was the much-needed encore fans felt so lost without. Melting faces with their trademark brand of simultaneous singing and screaming, Alexisonfire provided the perfect closer to a festival filled with bad fortune. Few bands can emulate the sheer energy being created onstage during the performance; each song seemed to be more intense until the climax of “Happiness By the Kilowatt” where Alexisonfire somehowmanaged to tear the roof off of an open-air venue.
1. The Flaming Lips
The Flaming Lips can’t be described without the use of the word “’legendary.” From start to finish, they sent the audience on a psychedelic adventure complete with confetti and dancing mushrooms. No other performance could compare to the insanity that The Flaming Lips brought with them on stage. The set list was punctuated by various monologues from front man Wayne Coyne in order to amp up the crowd and provide the perfect mindset for the upcoming journey.
Complete with a giant helium balloon reading “Fuck Yeah Edmonton,” the show was by far the most entertaining of the night. While not the most musically impressive show of the night, the visual spectacle alone made is the can’t miss show of Sonic Boom 2015.