Big Fun in review

Photo by Bob Tinker

As one night of the event Big Fun, itself paired with the New Music Festival, Jan. 24 at the barely ventilated Windsor Hotel was a crashing success.

Where else could you hear classic pop, folk rock, psychedelic Southern blues, a computer and keytar duo, and goth rock in the span of four hours and know these were all hometown heroes without an ounce of pretension?

The opening act was Indicator Indicator, headed by local pop superstar Sandy Taronno, drummer Kevin Kornelson, whose prog rock style à la Neil Peart would be welcome in any group, and Matthew Harder.

Says Taronno, “To me the frontlines of pop music is like—and this sounds stupid—but like, the Ke$has and producer-based stuff that’s actually on the radio. Like the really hard side-chained synth stuff. They’re doing insane, marvellous stuff in pop music. And we try to pull a few of those things, but honestly, in my heart of hearts, we do pretty classic pop.”

But in this reviewer’s heart, if what Indicator Indicator do is called “classic,” then groups like the Beatles are still in the stone age.

Yes We Mystic (YWM) took second spot on the bill, after doing the Hangover Breakfast show for Big Fun last year. Like Taronno, YWM frontman Adam Fuhr also doesn’t believe they’re anymore on the frontlines than anyone else. “We could be writing these songs 20 years ago, or 20 years from now, and we hope they’d be the same, the structure or the feel.”

The third act, the Bros. Landreth, could have stepped out of a time portal off the stage at the Windsor and onto the platform at Woodstock and not one person would have batted an eye. The four-person act has enough hair to put the Sheepdogs to shame. Frontman Joey Landreth and his brother Dave grew up on that music. “We come by it honestly,” says the former. “We can’t help but really love great, old rocking stuff.”