Series: Edenfest 1996 – Day Two

Edenfest Day Two
Saturday, 1996-07-13
Mosport Park

One  story from this day: Brian wears glasses. Without them, he’s not blind but it’s close. During one of the bands on this day (I forget which), there was was this dumb teenage kid crowd surfing and doing it all wrong. He wasn’t just letting the crowd move him down, he was flailing his arms and legs, like he was purposely trying to kick people. He was getting a lot of angry shoves and dirty looks – he really was just being a dick. We saw security talk to him when they pulled him out, but he just kept getting back up.

He went past us a couple of times, and on another pass his foot came out and knocked Brian’s glasses off his face. The kid was gone by the time we came back up from the ground with the (thankfully undamaged) glasses. Brian didn’t say much, just watched the little bugger. On his next pass, Brian shouted “Send him this way!” The crowd did. As he got to us, Brian reached up, got the back of his shirt and pulled down. Hard. His arm just happened to whack the kid off the noggin on his way to the ground too (oops) so the dummy got two hits, his head and then the ground. It all happened so fast the kid didn’t know what happened, and there was Brian helping him up, saying “Wow that was a close one. You OK? Up you go!” then picked him up and threw him back on the crowd. The kid never came back. All were happy.

Also: Rumours continued to swirl around the site all day about who would be the Special Guest the following day. It’s going to be Offspring! No, it’ll be SMASHING PUMPKINS! A million guesses abounded.

Alright, let’s Give ‘Er!

Main Stage:


My memory is that this band did not play. Did they play? Did we miss them completely? I have a text out to Brian to find out if he remembers. Also, who the hell names a band Elk? Apparently those people did.

Tracy Bonham

I was looking forward to this set. I loved The Burdens Of Being Upright (which was released that year), and in fact I still do. It’s a fun record. And this band did it justice. Fantastic.


Resident Alien, with its big single In The Meantime, had come out the year before, so people were all over seeing these guys. I remember liking it well enough, particularly the rocker Space is The Place.


It was at this point Brian admitted he was tired. I understood, it had been a lot already. He wasn’t too keen on seeing Everclear, so he found a tree over by the village and said he was just going to rest there. I went off to see Everclear, which was a highly energetic set, smack dab between the releases of Sparkle And Fade and So Much For the Afterglow. We got Heroin Girl, Santa Monica, everything you’d want them to play. I remember, before they started, one of the members walking along the long row of amps on stage and turning them all up to 10 (or 11, probably) as he went. They were LOUD. Oh man.

After their set, I went back to the tree to get Brian, but he wasn’t there. He found me shortly thereafter and said he’d left the tree because a squirrel was pissing on him. What. We went back to the tree and saw no squirrels. But for some reason that science probably cannot explain, the tree was dripping water from the top. It hadn’t rained. There were no hoses anywhere. It was the Perpetually Raining Tree. If we were religious or superstitious at all, we might have taken this to be some sort of sign. “We must worship the TREE! It’s a MESSAGE!”… As it was, we let ourselves be baffled and went off to hear some more of the rawk.


I was so stoked to see this band, and they totally delivered. Nest was the current album, and we got a lot of that. But we also heard the key tracks from Good Weird Feeling and Bedbugs, too. I would see these guys again anytime, anywhere.

Love & Rockets

Sweet F.A. was the current record, and I know we got Sweet Lover Hangover. I don’t recall much else about their set except they played well, and we also heard So Alive and Ball Of Confusion.

Porno For Pyros

These guys flew in over the crowd on a helicopter just before taking the stage. Perry Farrell was in fine form. Mike Watt was on bass (giving the whole thing punk pedigree). God’s Good Urge was the current album and Tahitian Moon was everywhere. I remember Pets, as well. This was a solid set.


This was one of the bands I’d come to see, and they absolutely nailed it. Basically, they played the entire Throwing Copper album (Secret Samadhi would be released the next year). They asked if Toronto was a Shit Towne (the crowd yelled YES!). They played so well, and with such energy, and Ed’s voice is truly one of a kind to begin with, but to hear it live… White, Discussion was a monster of feedback, it was really something. We were in the pit for most of this set, but I backed up after I got an actual boot to the head. This was a great, great, great set.

[Looking them up today, I learned that Ed left the band in 2009, and they’ll be releasing their first record with a new singer in October of this year. I dunno, dude’s got some big shoes to fill.]

Tragically Hip

The crowd was at its largest, at this point. Everyone was there to see the Hip. We talked to people who had paid the entire weekend’s entrance fee just to be there for the Hip’s set, with no intention of being there for any of the other bands. It was wall-to-wall people, all shouting “Hip! Hip! Hip! Hip!” The loyalty of the Hip’s fans borders on a little frightening, sometimes, but I choose to believe it’s still fairly innocent. They just want their boys to play.

And play they did. It was magical. Trouble At The Henhouse was the album du jour, and they played an incredible set. If you’ve ever seen the Hip live, you know what I mean. The entire crowd was right with them the whole time, rapt. If they’d have played all night, no one would have left.

I even kept the setlist from that show, which should tell the tale better than I ever could:

Gift Shop
Grace, Too
700 Ft. Ceiling
Springtime In Vienna
Nautical Disaster
Coconut Cream
Locked In The Trunk Of A Car
At The Hundredth Meridian
Butts Wigglin’
Ahead By A Century
New Orleans Is Sinking
Put It Off
Fire in The Hole
Fifty Mission Cap
Fully Completely
Little Bones

Seriously, this was amazing. My first time seeing the Hip was amongst tens of thousands of my sweatiest, closest friends. It felt like we were going to achieve lift-off.


The second stage held serious temptations for me, especially at the end of the night. I was completely torn. Do I go see Skydiggers and Buzzcocks? Or do I see Live and the Hip? I WANTED TO SEE ALL FOUR OF THEM! Whomever scheduled these two stages needed a swift kick in the ass. I mean, who books Skydiggers and Hip to play so close to each other that they might overlap? Give yer fuckin’ head a shake, man! And come to think of it, why weren’t Skydiggers and Buzzcocks on the main stage to begin with? It’s a fair and important question.

Also, the Muse listed here wouldn’t have been the band that’s popular today. The one you’re thinking of didn’t release their debut album until 1999. I have no idea who this Muse from 1996 would have been, some local band maybe?

Second Stage:

Hell Billys
Ruth Ruth
7 Year Bitch
Letters To Cleo
Solution Ad
Screamin’ CW

Up tomorrow: Day Three, and things go off the rails…


Posted on September 10, 2014, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Great story. Little bugger got what was coming to him.

    That Hip setlist is a golden keeper my friend. I love looking at old setlists.


    • Haha yup, he sure did. And I was all set to say “I didn’t see anything” if anybody came around asking, and I think everyone else in the front rows was prepared to say the same. Nobody came asking anyway.

      Oh man, every single song the Hip played that night was spot on, and the new tracks (off Henhouse) translated so well live. Of course they did. 🙂


  2. Cool review…to see Spacehog and Everclear wow man….that’s a throwback!


    • Thanks Deke! Yeah, those were the times. A lot of those bands were pretty big at the time, this was a fairly major schedule. And the Saturday was the day we’d really wanted to be there, lots of great bands. Of course, the other days weren’t so bad themselves.


  3. Much like Mike, I love looking at archived setlists as well, seeing what tunes slide in & out of the rotation. I quite enjoyed that Spacehog album, Cruel to be kind was another standout.

    And of course ‘odds’ – what a run they had in the 90s. Good to hear Live delivered, well, on stage nicely!


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