Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Jul 28th 2009 6:45PM by Tabassum Siddiqui
Polaris Prize-winning violin wizard Final Fantasy (Owen Pallett) delivered a literally electrifying main stage performance at Hillside, closing out the Guelph, ON, festival amidst a torrential thunderstorm.
A few songs into his bravura one-man baroque-pop set, the skies filled with thunder and lightning as rain began to drench Pallett, who continued shredding his bow fiercely across his violin.
As stagehands covered equipment with plastic, and organizers frantically tried to cut him off, Pallett kept playing the appropriately dramatic 'Lewis Takes His Shirt Off.' "One more minute," he yelled, as sheets of water hit him full force.
The stunned (and soaked) crowd broke into wild cheers as one minute turned into two and Pallett sped toward the song's big finish like a man possessed -- until the stage crew finally pulled the plug. Still, his heroics had already created Hillside's most memorable moment.
Backstage before his set, Pallett played coy about when fans might see his forthcoming new album, 'Heartland,' but did divulge some details. "I recorded it partly at the Greenhouse studio in Iceland, where Björk's made some of her records," he told Spinner. "Jeremy Gara from Arcade Fire helped out. I also recorded with an orchestra in Prague, and mixed it in Toronto and New York."
While Pallett has been busy finishing 'Heartland,' his Hillside appearance was one of a few key summer dates, including last week's Pitchfork Festival in Chicago. While his performance went over well with the hipster crowd, Pallett was nonplussed by what he dubbed a "festival filled with a bunch of spoiled babies" who went online to whine about everything from the music to the weather.
"Every single band there was among the hottest bands I could ever hope to see," he enthused. "And yet people were still complaining. Like here [at Hillside], everybody could complain about the lineups for the bathrooms or the beer or whatever, but nobody's complaining -- they're just having a good time."
Pallett himself was thrilled to be part of Hillside this year, notably for the opportunity to play alongside two veteran artists he's long admired. "Buffy Sainte-Marie and Issa [formerly Jane Siberry] really haven't gotten their due, even inside of Canada," he noted. "I was really thrilled that they were here."While awaiting the release of 'Heartland', Pallett is already planning his next new record. "I'm not exactly sure yet what the sound will be -- I'm just working it out," he explained. "'Heartland' was always conceived as an orchestral work with a narrative. This one might be a little more synth-pop. I want to do it to tape, which I'm really excited about. We'll see how it goes."