Friday, August 26, 2016

Recording: Operators

Artist: Operators

Song: Mission Creep

Recorded at Artscape Gibraltar Point (Camp Wavelength), August 19, 2016.

Operators - Mission Creep

Following and expanding on the template of last year's successful festival, Wavelength returned to the island with a meticulously-executed event that included an exciting range of music and a beach full of art beside festival headliner Lake Ontario. It also managed to be a stress-reducing rather than a stress-inducing time — rather like a weekend at the cottage, even if the city was just out of view.

Operators were so relaxed out on the island that they apparently forgot to bring out one key synthesizer while setting up, leading to a somewhat-awkward delay just as they were about to start their set. That misstep aside, Dan Boeckner was clearly enjoying the surroundings and the festival vibe, presenting his songs about grim rural upbringings and other dark subjects with a certain jauntiness. The music, including the tunes from this year's Blue Wave full-length, has a similar tension, sometimes registering like the Bee Gees on PCP. The band's "festival pacing" needs a bit of fine-tuning, ending their set on a low-energy note that made the call for an encore seem a little perfunctory. But while their minor mishaps might kill the momentum in a different setting, it all fit in just fine with Camp Wavelength's take-it-as-it-comes mellow vibe.

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