Sled Island 2016 wrap up

By: Kennedy Enns and Amber McLinden

This year’s Sled festival was both Amber and Kennedy’s first time going to Sled Island. At first Kennedy was nervous about going to cover shows, as she has been thrown around a few times at Tubby Dog and was worried it was going to be a week filled with scary, straight, dudes. Luckily, with Peaches curating they were blessed with a killer, diverse festival that made them feel welcome everywhere they went. With aching bones, a few blisters, a hungover head and a tired heart here are our reviews of our favourite shows.

BLANKA by Amber

BLANKA was a show to remember, mostly because the dude in front of me was doing the Carlton Dance the whole time. That’s probably my favourite part of going to experimental music shows; there is always a few people who live and breathe for it. BLANKA was the one show I wasn’t sure I would like, but they proved to be excellent to watch. The duo omits electronic vibes that don’t conform to the rules of typical electronic, making for some interesting music. I wouldn’t hesitate to see them again.

Partner by Kennedy

Partner at Broken City. Photo by Kennedy Enns.

Partner at Broken City. Photo by Kennedy Enns.

Remember when Ruby Rose was introduced as a new character on Orange is the New Black and all the straight girls were like, “I’d be gay for her”? Something very similar happened to an “unnamed individual” from Vamp. Partner makes the kind of the music that makes me happy to be gay and actually turns other girls gay; a kind of music I am now going to call lesbian, stoner rock. We’re all on The Ellen Page now.

Chastity Belt by Amber

Chastity Belt’s show was one of the performances I was most excited to see. They played only one of the songs I was familiar with, but it was refreshing to hear some new music that I hadn’t heard before. All of their songs are easy to jam out to, and the mood of their show was a relaxing break from some of Sled’s other acts. Their set definitely proved true to the “garage rock” genre that we described in our preview.

TT The Artist by Kennedy

We actually ended up at Commonwealth mostly because some of the members of Partner took us with them after their show at Local 510 (Thanks Lucy). Considering Amber is a hip hop snob I can’t believe we didn’t know about TT the Artist sooner. With lyrics like, Don’t want no car, don’t want no cash, don’t want no date, I just want my pussy ate” and an amazing crowd we hand a great time singing along with TT at Commonwealth.  

Junglepussy by Amber

I can’t believe I walked into this show barely knowing who Junglepussy was. My two favourite things are hip-hop and dismantling the patriarchy, so of course I love watching a woman rap about how hot and amazing she is. It’s no wonder she was a Peaches pick at Sled Island this year, because if anyone could be as explicit about female sexuality as Peaches (think dancing vaginas) it’s Junglepussy. Hailing from Brooklyn, we hope she makes the trip to Calgary again to teach us all a little more about being a self proclaimed bad bitch.

Peaches by Kennedy

Peaches at Flames Central. Photo by Kennedy Enns. 

Peaches at Flames Central. Photo by Kennedy Enns. 

Dancing vaginas should give you enough information about this show. Just in case it didn’t, there was partial nudity, simulated threesomes on stage and popping champagne bottles. Needless to say guest curator Peaches did an amazing job closing Saturday night at Flames Central. It was so wild that Amber threw up in her cup of water because she refused the leave the front of the stage. Multiple security guards had to ask if Amber was “fucked up or just tired”, to which she replied “a little bit of both”. Singing all of her hits, including the crowd favourites “Fuck the Pain Away” and “Dick in the Air”, Peaches was a show no one should have missed.

In case you’re curious here’s the full list of all the sets seen between the two of us: Angel Olsen, Bog Bodies, Built to Spill, Chastity Belt, Crack Cloud, Deafheaven, Dream Whip, Glad Rags, Junglepussy, Kaytranda, Land of Talk, Late Spring, Lawfawnduh, LT Leif, Lunatique, Moon King, Partner (twice, whoops), Peaches, Speedy Oritz, SUUNS, together PANGEA, TT the Artist and Vice Cooler.

Post-Sled Island, we ended up sleeping for a whole day. But, we don’t regret getting a combined total of 15 hours of sleep in a week. It was definitely worth pushing ourselves to go see as many bands as we could, at as many venues as possible. Sled Island was an amazing experience, and one that we are already looking forward to going to again. Hopefully next year we don’t almost die from lack of sleep, puking in a cup and a caffeine overdose, but only time will tell.