The last time I was at Rifflandia it was two festivals in one as Break Out West had joined forces for the weekend, which made it a bit hard to judge how different it would be this year. What was clear… the group of wonderful people putting on the festival must have worked tirelessly to not only keep the festival alive during these past couple of challenging years for festivals but to manage to score with the music changing Moby set to close it all out on Sunday night. Ten years going strong.
But all the fun got started on Thursday night as scores of bands kick things off in varying venues around the city. Sadly for us we were only able to attend on the Friday and Saturday but what we managed to catch was sure to have us yearning to book the whole week off next year and get over there to enjoy each and every night. The city just comes alive and everyone has fun and parties the nights away.
Rifflandia Friday September 15, 2017
Playing a bit of a mixed set with old favourites blended with new tunes, Said The Whale started off the main stage on Friday but it was just a few minutes after their set when it became crystal clear that there really was something smooth and silky in the air at Rifflandia… Charlotte Day Wilson. “Work” had come out earlier in the year and hauntingly declared that she would not let go until she got what was hers. This was my first time seeing her, and for those that missed out, they missed out on something special.
Switching gears, and stages, the first time I caught Glorious Sons was when they played at the late Pemberton Music Festival and they had blown me away. For Rifflandia, they took their performance to an all new level and shook the crowd up and started to get them prepared for the first full night of the festival.
Five Alarm Funk has been one of my local favourites for high action concerts. I won’t claim that it is my normal style of music but this is irrelevant when you catch them live. The band puts on one of the most fun and lively shows which lead you to wonder what will happen at each and every show. This one was no different. Was that a shark on stage with them? It was! A shark was playing those bongos while we were all whisked away into a magical and insanely fun world of music.
For many, the highlight for the day was July Talk, one of my favourite rock bands of all time. Really that should just end the conversation. If you have never seen them, then you have no idea what you are missing. If you have seen them then you should be right there along side me in knowing how freaking awesome they are. The band has influenced bands I have talked to around the globe and continues to inspire me with their performances.
The band never takes away from the fact that they are a band, a full band, but most everyone’s attention goes to the moody low tones of Peter and the soft serene sounds of Leah Fay. Leah does not stop moving on stage and takes every opportunity to engage the crowd while Peter ensure that the music gets growling to all new levels.
Rifflandia Saturday September 16, 2017
I have managed to catch Twin Bandit on a couple of occasions opening for this band or that, but Rifflandia really was the first time that I was able to see them showcased. The duo is now embarking on a cross-Canada tour that will have them in Vancouver on October 27 at St. James Hall and they are worth checking out for sure.
Neon Dreams brought the East Coast EDM to the West Coast with some smooth sounds and a whole lot of dancing.
One of the biggest highlights for me was when the most crushable Ontario transplant to ever exist, Hannah Georgas, took to the stage. She has a way about her music that completely draws you in. Whether the song she is performing is on the softer side of her electro-style or it is one of her more faster paced danceable songs, they just get you going on the inside.
I had no idea what to expect when Too Many Zooz took to the stage, and what I was welcomed with was a lively performance of sax, trumpet, and drums between a trio of fun loving guys that started off busking in the New York City subway stations.
KABOOM!!! The Band of Rascals took over the main stage and just completely rammed the rock through everyone’s veins. I mean, the fact that they are described on their Facebook page as “Some of the finest foot stompin, hoot’n n holler’n, hoe down, craze driven, tasty blues born rock n roll that you’ll find this side of the country.” pretty much says it all. The Vancouver Island band gave the crowd their monies worth in a whirlwind set that left many wanting “one more song”.
A blast from the past came with some inciting of “All the ladies…” when the Dream Warriors came back to show that they were not gone from the music scene and that “Their Definition” was still not to be reckoned with.
Vegetarian poutine! Although the crowd may not have noticed because the people at Rifflandia did a great job at ensuring that they stuck to their timelines, Dear Rouge was having a couple of technical issues with soundcheck. It was during one of these problems when Drew took some time to talk to the crowd. What he was surprised to find was there was a person eating vegetarian poutine. He joked about now having to think of that during his upcoming set. A few moments later when the band took to the stage there was no sign of any thinking other than rocking out.
If I was going to have to cut my trip short due to illness… there was no better way to cut it off than to have seen the Vancouver based electro group Dear Rouge. They completely brought it all on stage and left it in my heart until the next time I can make my way over to Victoria for wonderful beer of Phillips Brewing and the great sounds and scene of Rifflandia.
Check out the Following Links for More Photos From Rifflandia 2017 and below some other photos from around the festival.
- Charlotte Day Wilson
- The Glorious Sons
- Five Alarm Funk
- July Talk
- Twin Bandit
- Neon Dreams
- Hannah Georgas
- Too Many Zooz
- Band of Rascals
- Dream Warriors
- Dear Rouge
Rifflandia Festival 2017 Concert Photography