Majical Cloudz Lake Stage, Guelph ON, July 26

Majical Cloudz Lake Stage, Guelph ON, July 26
Photo: Atsuko Kobasigawa
The project of Montreal's Devon Welsh, Majical Cloudz (consisting of Welsh and collaborator Matthew Otto) took the Lake Stage on Saturday afternoon to a crowd that was split between rapt, seated onlookers up front and a restless pre-dinner crowd milling around and chatting further back. It wasn't the greatest setting for the lo-key sound, but Welsh made the most of it. Before opening the show with "This is Magic," Welsh announced the one-year anniversary of his sobriety, garnering support from the audience and establishing the theme for the evening's banter. Between music featuring Welsh's theatrical vocals and Otto's minimalist keyboards, Welsh made constant reference to being sober, joking that he had nothing to say now that he doesn't drink and declaring most songs to be about the perils of drinking and drugs.

"Savage," on which Welsh sings of zooming up a mountain high on LSD, came with an especially strong warning, but was followed up with a half-joking "Party on, I'm sure nothing bad will happen," to the crowd of festivalgoers looking to have a fun time. The simplicity of Majical Cloudz' music was mirrored in Welsh's outfit choice of a plain white t-shirt and jeans, but despite a disclaimer that he'd lost his voice a few days prior, Welsh still managed to convey the heavy emotional delivery his music is known for. Though the banter (and lack thereof) and abrupt endings to each song left a weird vibe hanging over the tent, the duo was on-point musically, and those paying attention saw a fine performance.

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