concert // rifflandia day 1

So, I thought that it would be awesome to do a post for each night of the RIFFLANDIA event here in Victoria, BC. I’m googling a bit of info for each band and linking some videos that I hope you check out. It was pretty wicked to be able to take photos and listen to some music, but it was more than that. Being up that close while these groups were performing was pretty unreal and I cannot wait for next year’s event. Hopefully they’ll ask me to take photos again, eh…eh? Atomique Productions and the Zone 91.3 are responsible for putting together some of the best shows in Victoria, from the Annual Jon & Roy Christmas Special to Metric to Wintersleep and Daniel Wesley. I’ve been to a few of the shows they’ve promoted and I can’t wait to see the Metric show in a few weeks as well as the Jon & Roy show in December. The RIFFLANDIA shows were amazing and I can only think of one fault that the promoters may not have cared about…I guess it wasn’t a bad thing that there were TOO many good bands in too many awesome venues.

There were 157 artists and I had a tough time going through the massive list of performers and I spent about 3 hours straight going through as many youtube and vimeo videos that I could. In the end I had made a short list of venues I had to be at and Market Square and Alix Goolden Hall were prime spots for some of the artists I wanted to see. Opening night was Thursday, September 23 and I found myself at Market Square for Sunday Buckets, Current Swell, Brasstronaut, Grand Analog and K’naan. It was an unforgettable night and every performer/group were great.

Sunday Buckets is a local band from here in Victoria and they classify themselves as funk/pop/rock. I had checked them out on the Rifflandia schedule and had them highlighted as a band I wanted to check out. They have been featured on the Zone 91.3 as a band of the month and their song “Personality” seems to be their most popular song although I am listening to their song “Sunlight” right now and I’m digging it. I can’t seem to find too much info on them online but you can find them on Facebook here —>   Sunday Buckets

Here are some of my fav pics from their performance.

Current Swell. These guys are pretty West Coast. I’ve seen them a few times now and they have a really chill vibe and fit the “surf rock” genre pretty well. Last year they put on a cool show at the Alix Goolden Hall with Jon & Roy and Vince Vaccaro. They also have performed alongside Xavier Rudd and Bedoin Soundclash and according to their website they are currently recording a new album. I’ll post a vid here from vimeo. It has such a relaxed mood and is perfect background music for me when I’m editing, like right now. Check it!

Current Swell – Young and Able from John Poliquin on Vimeo.

Here are some of my fav pics of these surfer guys from night 1!

This next band I had never heard of before. There were only a few that I hadn’t researched and somehow I had missed these guys. The band’s name is Brasstronaut and they were in my top 5 of all the bands I saw during the event.  There’s something that I loved about the sound of the trumpet in all of their songs. Maybe I love brass instruments, I had no idea. These guys are from Vancouver and I have to say that the reason this event was unbelievable for was because I had no idea there was such a diverse group of talented musicians on the Island and in Canada. This video from them I’m going to post has quite a melancholic sound I think and I dig it. These guys made it over to England from what I can tell on their blog and I’m looking forward to their return. I’ll check out these guys for sure. Their website is here and it looks like they are offering a free download. I’ll have to check it out. Here’s Brasstronaut’s video “Old World Lies”

Brasstronaut – Old World Lies from Salazar on Vimeo.

And here are some pics…

These next guys I am very excited to write about. I had no idea who they were, none, and they absolutely stole the night. Me and another photographer were talking about the event the following day and we agreed easily that Grand Analog was the best of the night. These guys are a hip hop group based in far away Toronto and the group consists of frontman Odario Williams and DJ Ofield.  They absolutely blew me away, I mean everyone always wonders about hip hop coming out of Canada and although it is not like it was in the days of Snow I was still a bit hesitant when they got on stage. It certainly opened up my eyes to the talent in Canada and the sound that they are creating is unique. I really don’t know what else to say, I wish I got paid to rave about these guys but I don’t and I’m still going to tell you that if you have a chance to check them out live you should. They were rad and tied with one other performance I saw as far as energy goes. They were pumped to be performing and the crowd really got into it, as I did. It was hard choosing a video to share because I have a few that I keep checking out but here’s one followed by some photos.

And the last guy of the night was K’naan. You know who K’naan is if you’ve listened to the radio this past year. Wavin’ flag had to be one of the most popular songs of the year and was released as a “Charity single” for the foundations Free The Children, War Child Canada and World Vision Canada. To be honest I found that the part of his show started off a bit slow. I talked to some people after the event and I guess there were some issues possibly relating to the concert he was supposed to have over in Vancouver. His performance was still memorable and he is definitely a seasoned performer and has a confident presence on stage especially with the spoken word rhymes he does. Here is one of his videos and the last photos from the night. I hope you all enjoyed the pics, it’s awesome to be able to share the night I had with everyone.

K’NAAN – Take A Minute (Dir: Amir Aziz) from Amir Aziz on Vimeo.

All of the info I found and posted was pulled from the web and if any of it is wrong please don’t hesitate to shoot me an e-mail!

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