Sunday, February 25, 2024

32 shots of Diplo, Salt-N-Pepa and all other performers at day two of Rifflandia

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Day two at The Park was a long haul in the sun but one that Victoria has been itching for since the lineup was first announced in the spring.

Luckily, for all those who came out bright and early to catch every little bit of Riff, there were plenty of hydration options.

There are two gluten-free dedicated spots with Straight and Narrow and Ole. There are also two water stations on either side of The Park for those who like to stay hydrated and of course, the big Phillips Brewing truck trailer.

But this year, Rifflandia also expanded on the non-alcoholic front by bringing in So Bar: So Good  to serve a variety of refreshing beverages. Phillips Brewing also showed up with a non-alcoholic station which featured two water fountains with their iota near-beer instead of water.

The vendors were back and slinging all kinds of wares, be it leather strap attire, vintage, tie-dye or even the representatives from the Orange Shirt Society.

Habit Coffee (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
So Bar: So Good (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
So Bar: So Good (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Phillips Brewing iota non-alcoholic beer fointain (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Orange Shirt Society (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)

Like Friday, Saturday’s Rifflandia action got off to a wholesome start music-wise with the YYJ Choir, except this time, they got to take the main stage.

The choir, which is celebrating ten years, sang songs by Fleet Foxes, Mother Mother, The Ramones, and many other popular artists. 

After the YYJ Choir, the Tia Greenwood Ensemble band played the side stage.

They are a young ensemble from Victoria who frequently play in and are connected with the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

The Tia Greenwood Ensemble was composed of a keys player, guitar and hand drum player, Cellist and fiddler who specialize in traditional and contemporary fiddle-based folk music. 

Lindsay Bryan was next up on the main stage following the choir.

Bryan’s solo music is rooted in alt-country with folk roots. She and her band of Victoria’s best and brightest players swooned the afternoon crowd as kids and adults alike found comfy places to sit in front of the stage to listen.

Bryan may have been recognizable to Rifflandians who have attended the festival in past years because she plays in several other acts, most prominently, Astrocolour. 

YYJ Choirs (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Tia Greenwood Ensemble (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Tia Greenwood Ensemble (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Lindsay Bryan (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Lindsay Bryan (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Lindsay Bryan (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)

Next, Preston Pablo took to the side stage in the heat of the sun with his band.

Pablo and his squad had some sound and technical difficulties as his mic wasn’t turned on for the first two songs despite his backing track playing through. 

His backing musicians also couldn’t hear him or the track for the first bit, so the drummer ended up playing slightly out of time.

But the sound wizards of the side stage quickly figured out what was wrong and set things straight. 

Pablo had his mic working again, everyone was synced up and the crowd was on his side throughout the whole thing. 

He played all his hits that Victorians have likely heard on Virgin Radio before, and if they didn’t know who he was before, they do now.

Mallrat had the crowd in the palm of her hand as she took the main stage.

The Brisbane, Australian born artist is currently on a quick tour through North America and said she was playing Victoria for the first time. 

This stop on her tour was actually her only Canadian tour date on the whole trip. 

She is a singer, and rapper whose rise in the world of music has been constant and shows no sign of stopping now.

Mallrat even sat down with Victoria Buzz and chatted about some of her influences, next steps in her career and how she enjoyed Victoria.

Preston Pablo (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Preston Pablo (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Mallrat (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Mallrat (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)

Now into the latter half of the day, lovelytheband stepped up to the side stage.

They came out strong and played all their hits in their 45-minute set, including broken, coachella and make you feel pretty.

While playing through coachella, they even changed the lyrics to, “In your head, it’s Coachella every weekend,” to “In your head, it’s Rifflandia every weekend.”

This was their first time in Victoria since 2019 and they were well received by all attendees. 

Mavis Staples was an utter delight to have in Victoria. Whether attendees knew her going into the festival, they surely came out a fan. 

She played many songs from throughout her long and prolific career as a singer in The Staples Singers as well as her solo career.

She has won 13 Grammy Awards and been nominated for 14 more.

One special highlight of her performance was when she payed homage to her friend and collaborator David Byrne and the Talking Heads by covering Slippery People. 

Chet Faker may have been one of the best performances of the day with his eclectic sound and his methods of making music. 

On one side of the stage he had a keyboard and a microphone, on the other he had a drum machine, looper station and sample pad.

He is a true modern day crooner and every soul that could pile up in front of the stage did so eagerly.

He played his hits, plus threw in his popular rendition of Blackstreet and Dr. Dre’s No Diggity.

lovelytheband (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
lovelytheband(Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
lovelytheband (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
lovelytheband (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Mavis Staples (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Mavis Staples (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Mavis Staples (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Chet Faker (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Chet Faker (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Chet Faker (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)

The last two acts were the ones everyone was dying to see ever since the Rifflandia lineup announcement.

Although different, they seemed to blend well together and had everyone in attendance bopping, dancing and screaming for the last two hours straight.

Salt-N-Pepa were a nostalgic dream and the word “hit” doesn’t come close to describing the importance of the music they created. 

They were clad in 90s attire alongside their backup dancers and DJ.

Together they sang a handful of songsbefore they took their leave of the stage, and let their DJ play a medley of nostalgic 90s, 80s and 70s songs and got the crowd hyped up.

Then the dynamic duo came out again to perform another round or ringers including Let’s Talk About Sex and Shoop.

Following their set, Diplo came out and turned The Park into one giant rave. 

He had a simple stage setup but it was all about the music for Diplo and all his fans in attendance, of which there were many.

Saturday evening at The Park was officially the most attended night of Rifflandia since its beginnings.

The night came close to selling out and had just shy of 8,500 people in attendance. 

Salt-N-Pepa (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Salt-N-Pepa (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Salt-N-Pepa (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Salt-N-Pepa (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Diplo (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)

There’s still one day left! Sunday’s lineup is definitely one you won’t want to miss with acts like Herbie Hancock, Melanie C, Stephen Marley, KALEO and so many more.

Get tickets online here!

mm
Curtis Blandy
curtis@victoriabuzz.com

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