Rifflandia, my last planned festival for the year, went off in total blow-out form. There are stories I am embarrassed to share online, but for the most part it was a weekend filled with heavy drinking, family bike rides, super-sized breakfasts and tons of great music! We rolled out of bed at 530AM Vancouver time to get to Victoria by a cool quarter to nine Island time. There’s no time change, but everything runs a little slower on Vancouver Island.
We were pumped to kick back in the sun, make some new friends, hear good music and live the Island life for a few days. We got settled in at our digs for the weekend and then went out for a 1030AM beer/breakfast run. After fueling up, we hopped on the bikes and hit the town. We went to pick up our wristbands at Rifflandia HQ and I was semi-sad that I didn’t receive a swag bag. Even the media wristbands looked hokey and could have even been mistaken for a “minors” wristband. We carried on with the family bike ride, checking in at the various festival sponsors trying to win shoes I wouldn’t wear and printed leggings, and generally just killing time. I modded out my ride with a beverage holder for its handlebar and then it was time to test it out.
By this time, the afternoon was getting on and our group grew by a few as the handlebar beers were passed about. We cruised along Dallas rd. like drunk tourists and played in the water. Before I knew it we were back downtown drinking on the BettyandKora yacht just blocks from the Phillips Backyard party plaza. After an insane lineup that actually moved pretty quickly we got inside and listened to Pat Mahoney on the 1s and 2s. I got tired of waiting around for James Murphy and stupidly took off to Market Square with the homie Steve. Danced. Took photos. Found Brad. Got sick. I went to the porta-pottie and promptly passed out, waking up only after The Hood Internet had finished their crappy set.
The Funk Hunters brought it up several notches, but it still wasn’t as good as I remember them at Shambahla. The homie Steve jammed out on his guitar and the DJ Smoothie made it sexy on the saxophone, and we danced we danced under the synthetic snowflakes.
The homies BettyandKora showed up and we shut down the night with a whimper, wandering off to a not-rooftop party, and calling it quits shortly after. I doubled Brad’s bike back to our pad and dreamed of music of the live variety. Friday was your typical Brad and James go to a festival day. Drinking way too much way too late, missing most of the early(better) bands and then forgetting the rest of it anyway. Here’s the quickest recap of 24hrs: Brad made a FunStik. Classified killed it. Z-trip was rad. Walking around lost in Victoria. Trying to call everyone on Google Talk. Here’s some photos:
When your buddy comes home at 10AM with your cell phone in hand, you know its going to be a good day. We proceeded to pick-up my bike and locate my backpack. I felt like the biggest king of lost and found. Vowing “never to drink so much again”, we laughed about how many times such foolish words have been spoken, and then made moves so we could get to the park for Corb Lund’s country hoe-down at 1PM. I youtube djayed the track “Truck Got Stuck” and Brad was now fully into getting to the grounds a full 4 hours before he probably would have otherwise.
Corb Lund got everybody into the party spirit, sipping his drink on stage and singing “it’s time to switch to whiskey” when that was probably the last thing on most people’s minds in the early audience at the Royal Athletic Park. We took a beer garden break after Corb and located our missing FunStik. Now we had three! We bumped into some girls in flower dresses and adorned them with oversize glasses in exchange for whatever they were smoking out of their star-trekki pen pipes.
Chali 2na gave the crowd some old school hip-hop love, dropping rhymes about George Bush and pop music that had the crowd whooping.
Wavves turned things up with a ferocious grunge rock set. This led some agro Dj-rock by USS.
Then we all jumped and moshed to Death From Above 1979. Everything fizzled out after that and long lines ups were everywhere. We ended up at Lucky bar, but I couldn’t tell you how or why or what happened afterward.
Sunday brought the rain. We prepared with a hearty 18-egg meal of scrambled eggies and caesars for new friends. I made a cardboard sign for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Then we party-rocked a full car back to the pad for a couple jelly donuts and some youtube-djaying. We assembled in time for the Hannah Georgas set, convoying 4 bikes, all doubled, to the party grounds.
Hannah warmed the hearts of everyone in attendance with her pumped up piano pop. A couple angry Aussies named Bliss and Eso hit the main stage after and promptly sucker-punched all of the Georgas joy from our souls with their snake-like rhyming schemes. We were stoked for Brushy One String, but he was cancelled and some local fruit loops played instead.
Beats Antique came out as a duo and I, along with most of the male audience, was surely upset that David and Tommy were missing belly-dancing Zoe Jakes. They still came out strong and pulled through with animal masks and the fusion of electronic and world music they are known for.
Big Boi had a sore leg so he brought his golden throne with him.
Matt and Kim are star performers. They bring out all their big guns to entertain everyone including confetti, baloons, crowd surfing, and hopping about on stage around and on top of their instruments.
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros played a sleepy set on the chilliest night of the festival, with most of the Los Angeles band coming on stage bundled up in jackets. They used a projector that lit the entire stage from in front of the artists, at times obscuring a lot of what was going on. On a dark chilly night, it wasn’t exactly a set that encouraged you to pump any additional blood to your limbs. Playing tracks mostly from their latest self-titled album, that were dominated by Alex Ebert’s vocals, the show was different from the hippie-loving shared vocals of Jade and Alex that I was used to.Brad and I made it back to homebase and after realizing everything was closing early decided to have a no pants party. A couple homies came over and then Dave from Beats Antique showed up and dropped trow. Brad got him in a Thuggie and he was stoked. We ordered pizza, danced, and drifted off to sleep.
Tons more photos here.