Big Fun 2018, which took place from Jan. 24 through 28, unveiled a new crop of exciting and unique locals bands to the city – with some heavy-hitter headliners thrown in for fun. Big Fun is always a reliable place for Winnipeggers to turn to in the winter months to discover their new favourite band, and this year was no exception. Big Fun is hectic, exhausting, but, above all, fun, with what seemed like countless musical events happening simultaneously in perfect harmony throughout the weekend.
The Big Fun crew did a great job curating a lineup with something for everyone, including festival standout Veneer opening for Montreal via Calgary’s Braids at the West End Cultural Centre, and housepanther’s delightfully catchy power pop opening up for Spooky Eyes, who had everyone at The Handsome Daughter bopping along to their indie rock gems. Also notable were notme, with their epic hard shoegaze influenced rock; Black Cloud with their darkest performance to date, which had them performing in balaclavas at the Sherbrook Inn; and Jaywood bringing a new energy to The Good Will Social Club with their psychedelic jazz tunes that everyone loved.
The festival kicked off on Wednesday evening with a packed crowd at the Ballroom, which is only used one night a year for musical performances. The audience was treated to some foot-stomping singalongs from Matt Foster while Calgary’s FOONYAP changed up the pace with their unique meld of ambient neo-folk, which was perfectly suited for the venue’s brilliant atmosphere.
(Read more at ckuw.ca/stylus) - Gil Carroll
Published in Volume 72, Number 16 of The Uniter (February 1, 2018)