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Squamish gets rocked

Second annual Live at Squamish music festival doesn't disappoint

"Say it ain't so," sang headliners Weezer and thousands of concert goers at the 2011 Live at Squamish music festival on Sunday (Aug. 21).

It seemed an appropriate way to end the two-day event.

Close to 8,000 fans were rocking out and singing along but the time to party at the second annual event was dwindling. Say it ain't so, indeed.

The group played a mixture of old favourites and new hits to close the festival and frontman Rivers Cuomo got up close and personal with the fans several times.

Cuomo slowly made his way through the crowd during a performance of Island in the Sun, receiving a lot of love from the crowd. It was a recurring theme during Weezer's 60-minute set.

Spencer Martin and Hannah Learman, from Bellingham, Wash., managed to get as close as possible to Weezer, snagging a spot right at the front. They watched in amazement as Cuomo slowly snaked his way through the packed crowd.

"We got to touch him and I gave him a high-five," said Martin.

Even more thrilling for Martin was the fact that his quick reflexes scored him a souvenir he will treasure for a long time - a sheet with the lyrics from Weezer's cover of Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People.

"Once the song was done he just scrunched the sheet into a ball and threw it into the crowd," Martin said. "I managed to catch it."

Martin and Learman weren't the only ones pleased with the way the festival went down. Squamish RCMP only made nine arrests during the two-day event, which saw 16,600 people through its gates, a number that represents an increase over the approximately 14,000 who attended the 2010 festival.

"We were pleased with the way things happened," Cpl. Dave Reid said, noting that all the arrests were for persons alleged to have been drunk in public.

The RCMP brought in 15 extra officers for the show. Seven tickets were handed out for drinking offences and Reid estimated police poured out 200 bottles of booze.

Before the curtains were drawn, Metric played a riveting set, with a crowd that rivaled Weezer's in both size and sound. Other highlights included Vancouver rockers Black Mountain putting together a strong set and sick beats at the Garibaldi stage, including Dubtribe Sound System, Doc Martin and Major Lazer.

Saturday (Aug. 20) saw The Proper Villains take the stage as the opening act. The band's energetic pace set the tone for a day filled with music for fans of all genres.

The Garibaldi and Stawamus stages were filled with strong performances including Metric's Emily Haines Shaw's acoustic set, Hey Ocean, Stars, John Butler Trio, Shad, Kyprios and many more.

While Hey Ocean and Stars entertained the main stage, it was the Vancouver-based Kyprios who got the crowd going at the Garibaldi stage.

Known by many for his Vancouver Canucks tribute How the West Was One, Kyprios delivered a high-energy performance that included a tribute to the late Rick Rypien, once a member of the Canucks.

Shad kept the energy high, bringing the crowd to its peak during his performance that included hits from his Juno winning Album of the Year, TSOL.

As Shad was finishing his set on the Garibaldi stage, John Butler Trio was just starting to steal the show at the Stawamus stage.

Twitter was abuzz with people praising the performance of John Butler Trio who were arguably the best performance of the day.

"I don't think anything in life to date has topped the performance I just saw," said Jennifer Temple on her Twitter page.

Other tweets described the performance as "absolutely brilliant" and "simply amazing."

Girl Talk completed the evening with his non-stop, energy-inducing mixes that had the audience jumping, twisting, shouting, and dancing.

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