Caribou Main Stage, Toronto Island ON, June 13

Caribou Main Stage, Toronto Island ON, June 13
Photo: Rick Clifford

As the first notes of "Our Love" floated across Toronto Island, the tone was firmly set for a magical performance from Caribou. They've been touring their latest album — also titled Our Love — for a while now, but there was just something special about their Bestival show. Perhaps it was the combination of playing on an island, in Canada, on a picturesque sunny day, just as the sun was going down, but it felt like they were at their happiest here. Whatever the reason, spirits were high, as the four-piece — which is usually just frontman Dan Snaith on recordings — sailed through the most beautiful tracks from Caribou's last two albums.

Although, technically they were a five-piece at times, as Owen Pallett, another main stager from earlier in the day, joined the group on violin for a time. As Pallett's presence would tell you, Caribou's set remained quite subdued for a while; they leaned on more sentimental material like "Back Home," "Dive" and "Silver." Yet, even though these were downtempo tracks, they all ended as intense juggernauts, with every band member pummelling their instruments into oblivion.

When Caribou did decide to up the tempo, the show really took off. "Odessa" was deeper and funkier than ever before and "Bowls" was a masterpiece of percussion, but it was "Can't Do Without You" that completely stole the show. You'd be hard pressed to find a more perfect song for a more perfect moment. It was as if all Snaith's work over the years was leading up to this one glorious instant at Bestival. 

It was beyond feel-good; it was downright euphoric. Some may have preferred the energetic closer, "Sun," but "Can't Do Without You" seemed to sum up the festival in its entirety — a small musical segment that spoke volumes about its surroundings.