Things got hot this weekend during Reverb at the Phillips Backyard, but the sweltering heat didn’t stop anyone from having an amazing time.
Three days, 15 bands, giant Jenga, and delicious food truck vendors kept everyone happy while the water stations kept people hydrated and the beer kept everyone feeling loose.
Here’s what you might have missed if you couldn’t make it out to the Phillips Backyard this past weekend:
Friday at Reverb
Local legends Acres of Lions kicked the day off and Dan Ball — the most recognizable man in Victoria — brought out his legion of fans all toting cardboard signs with loving messages of admiration.
Next Little Destroyer was up and they brought the punk rock, grunge energy packed into a poppy R&B package.
Crown Lands and Blue Stones took the stage after Little Destroyer and they each played all the hits and had almost everyone in the backyard moving their bodies.
The man, the myth, the legend, the Met-chosen one, Jesse Roper put on an unforgettable show next — maybe one of his best Victoria performances yet. Anytime Roper takes the stage in this city, he has the crowd square in the palm of his hand with nothing but good vibes to give them.
Roper hasn’t played in Victoria proper since Canada Day last year and likely won’t take another Victoria stage for another year, so this performance better have tided over his loyal local fanbase who want nothing more than for him to play every event in town.
Saturday at Reverb
Saturday was a sweaty one and it had the most people in attendance of the three days who were all eagerly waiting to see Peach Pit take to the stage but the openers on Saturday were just as special as the Vancouver indie outfit that brought everyone out.
Babe Corner was first up and they are one of Vancouver’s finest up-and-coming bands. This powerful and fun four-piece will be welcome back to the island any time based on how much the crowd loved having them this time around.
A local favourite, the Bankes Brothers took the stage next and really fired things up with their brand of blues infused rock and roll.
Following that, Ruby Waters played and left those who didn’t know about her awe-struck at the raw talent she possesses. She played Rifflandia last year and wowed everyone there and has since returned to sell out Capital Ballroom in one of 2022’s most anticipated concerts. Waters did not disappoint this time around in the backyard.
Allen Stone’s soaring vibrato echoed throughout the backyard and beyond. He is one of the most skilled and talented blue-eyed soul singers in America and came up from his home in Washington to show Victoria that the genre is still alive and well.
Then, the band that the backyard was dying to see, Peach Pit took the stage and put on a masterful performance — perhaps one of Phillips Backyard’s best.
Sunday at Reverb
Last but not least, Sunday’s lineup was just as stacked as Friday and Saturday’s.
Locals, Cold Fame started off Sunday afternoon in the blistering heat. They tow the line between rock and pop in a spellbinding way. Any Victorians who didn’t know about them before, do now, and will most definitely be eagerly awaiting their next show.
Steph Strings was next and she played a solo set, just her and her guitar. It is a near impossible thing to do as a solo act to keep the attention of an entire outdoor festival, but she made it look easy. To many, her set was one of the weekend’s most memorable.
Hometown heroes Jon and Roy stepped on stage and were welcomed by a sea of die-hard fans who see them as just as important to Victoria’s music scene as Jesse Roper. They played all the hits and had the crowd singing along with almost every tune.
Hollow Coves, an Australian indie folk-rock band, was next up at Reverb and they brought with them charisma, great music and stellar vibes. They were storytellers, providing context for many of the songs they played and it won over the hearts and minds of everyone there.
Lastly, Fleet Foxes closed out this year’s Phillips Backyard series with their sounds of nostalgia and some of the best harmonies in music. Ever since their 2008 debut record, they have been at the forefront of the indie music scene worldwide. Without them modern music would not be what it is today so it was an honour to be able to host these gifted trendsetters on an evening that felt so special.
That’s it for the Phillips Backyard festivals this year, but the backyard will be put to good use just weeks away for Rifflandia, September 7th to 9th!
All photos used in this article were taken by the incomparable Tyson Elder, who is a pillar of the local music scene and one of Canada’s best concert photographers.