Tag Archive: Aidan Knight


OK, the guilt is really setting in. It’s been two months and I still have to report on two more days of the Rifflandia festival. Stupid work and life getting in the way. Anyways, here goes:

Day 2 of the Rifflandia festival started off early by checking out Treelines at the Victoria Events Centre. Their new EP Young Man received some heavy play on my stereo this summer, so this was one of the sets I was most looking forward to at Rifflandia. The first song I caught from them, Summer Song, had just that morning been awarded the title of the CBC Radio 3 Song of Summer for 2010. The fool that I am, I showed up a few minutes into the set and ended up missing my favourite song, Ghost Towns. That’s just one more reason for Treelines to make a quick return to Victoria I guess. This was actually the first show I had been to at the Victoria Events Centre, and let me just say that this venue has really got some potential. It was a pretty good space to see music, with some good sightlines, and it had a bar even though it was an all ages venue (a double win!). Back to the music though. Treelines put on one rocking set chock-full of energy. I think the almost full venue of people would have agreed with me on that. The band did not disappoint my high expectations for this show; I can’t wait to see Treelines again.

Treelines at the Victoria Events Centre

Up next at the Victoria Events Centre was a local band, The Wicks, who played some laid back country. It was nice to hear a local band I hadn’t heard before, but after that rocking set by Treelines I couldn’t sit down and give the Wicks the attention they deserved so I decided to move on. I did pick up their EP before I left though, so I’m looking forward to giving it a listen through.

The Wicks at the Victoria Events Centre

At this point I moved over to see another local band, Maurice, at Market Square. This was clearly where the party was going on, with the beer garden lineup growing by the second. The whole set culminated with one unforgettable moment of the festival in which the bass player Mark leaped off a stack of speakers. The next day it was revealed that he sprained his ankle – ouch! As proof, the band posted some photos up on their Facebook page of a pretty bruised and swollen foot.

Yukon Blonde were up next at Market Square and to put it bluntly, they rocked the joint. I was impressed that the band’s great harmonies transferred so well from the album to the stage. At this point Market Square was almost at capacity, and everyone seemed really into the show. I would not be surprised if Yukon Blonde walked away with more than a few new fans that night. Near the end of the set Aidan Knight and the boys of We Are the City joined the band on stage for a song.

with Aidan Knight and We Are The City

Yukon Blonde at Market Square

At this point the night was in full swing and I went from one capacity crowd to another to see Aidan Knight at the Metro. Even with my media pass I got stuck waiting out in the hall for this massively popular show. Luckily I was able to make it in partway through first song so all worked out. For this set Aidan and his band played a mix of  old songs, new songs, and songs from his most recent release Versicolour. After catching him a few times this summer with the Malahat Revue it was nice to see him play such a well rounded collection of material. Partway through the set Aidan asked how many of us saw him at last year’s Rifflandia festival. Considering this was such a breakout performance for him, I was surprised that the answering applause was so quiet. I guess this just goes to show how the love for Aidan Knight has spread so much in the past year. This evening Aidan was joined by a five piece band which was a nice expansion from his solo set at last year’s Rifflandia festival. The band grew even more for the song Knitting Something Nice For You when they were joined by the boys of We Are The City and by Matt Kelly of Treelines. The crowd leaped to their feet for this number, and they even got the clapping part of the song down without any prompting. To finish off the night Aidan asked the crowd to have a seat, at which point he expressed how genuinely happy he is to just be playing music. He also gave the Rifflandia organizers a heartfelt thanks for bringing something so great to our city, and mentioned some of the amazing shows he had seen so far. The band finished the night off with Jasper, and though the crowd started off sitting it didn’t last long. By the end of the song everyone was on their feet singing along, and Aidan finished the whole thing off from somewhere in the middle of the crowd.

Aidan Knight at the Metro

When I left the Metro there was a long line to see Men Without Hats. I grossly underestimated how popular that show would be and I’m quite interested to hear how that it went. Since I was in the area I decided to make a quick stop at the Alix Goolden Hall for Great Lake Swimmers. There was a long, long lineup to get in. Before the show the crowd was a little on the rowdy, restless side which made me think this show would be a disaster, but everyone quieted down as soon as the band took the stage. Unfortunately, things were running about 15 minutes late so I decided to only stay for two songs: She Comes To Me In Dreams and Everything Is Moving So Fast. If I had to hear only two songs from the Great Lake Swimmers, those are two pretty good choices.

Great Lake Swimmers at the Alix Goolden

To finish off the night I headed over to Sugar to catch the last half of Shout Out Out Out Out’s set. Once I got inside the club I was greeted with one sweaty dance party that was well underway. The whole crowd was basically jumping up and down for the entire show. Somehow or another I managed to navigate through the mass of people to get up to the front row where my friends were camped out. This was such a great way to wrap up the evening and get out all my extra energy from seeing so many hours of amazing music this weekend. Shout Out Out Out Out’s show was another one of my most anticipated sets of the festival and with two drummers and three bass players (insert double rainbow joke here), you can surely imagine that they did not let me down. In fact, the band said that it was probably their best show in Victoria so far. The crowd was so riled up by the end when they demanded an encore that the band decided to play Forever Indebted, a song that they claimed to have not played in a long time. This is one of my favourites from them, and it was such a great way to end the night.

Shout Out Out Out Out at Sugar

Now, I know this is supposed to be a music review, but after the show we wandered down to West Coast Waffles on Broad Street. I only found out that weekend that they have late night hours. They served up some amazing after show food that was such a nice change from the old standby of pizza, and they even had a mix CD of Rifflandia artists on the stereo! En route to West Coast Waffles my group ran into Zach from the Zolas and members of Treelines. I must say, it’s been a real treat so have so many musicians in town, and to have them hang around after their shows are over without needing to rush for the ferry, giving us the chance to chat with them while wandering the streets. Also spotted throughout the weekend were members of We Are the City and Aidan Knight.

Shout Out Out Out Out at Sugar

Up next in Day 3: Rich Aucoin, Diamond Rings, (a failed attempt to see) Times Neue Roman, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, Hey Rosetta, The Dodos.

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Well I guess it’s better late than never to get this up:

Though most of this week has been spent doing my listening homework for the Vancouver Folk Fest, I somehow managed to cram in a few shows last weekend. First up was the CD release party for Versa at the beautiful Alix Goolden Hall. Showing a bit of bad etiquette on my part, I ended up missing the first two openers and arrived just in time to catch a set by Les Monstres Terribles.

Les Monstres Terribles

In full disclosure, I’m friends with one of the members (heck I went to his wedding even) and I’ve had a drink or two with a few of the other members in the group. Don’t let my positive bias toward this band dissuade you though, back in March Les Monstres Terribles were voted the Most Welcome Addition to the Arts Scene at this year’s Monday Magazine M Awards.

The band pulled out all the stops for their first show at the Alix Goolden Hall. While the group normally consists of five core members, this set was backed by the Playing Dead Orchestra which consisted of a keyboardist, a brass section, a string section, and even a choir. The entire group of 15 or so musicians were decked out in black and white duds with white masks. Though the outfits were borderline gimmicky, the group looked pretty sharp all together.

Versa

After a quick intermission Versa took the stage. The whole evening was to celebrate the release of their sophomore album The Decline and Fall of…, which was included for free in the modest $10 admission. In all honesty I hadn’t heard of them prior to last week, but when I got a message from the fine folks at Ditch Records saying they had tickets to give away I entered my name into the draw on a whim. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that I was one of the lucky winners, and more so when I discovered that Versa plays some pretty awesome music to boot. Without the slightest bit of exaggeration, I’m really tempted to say that they are one of my great musical finds this year. Though the dark lighting in the hall didn’t bode well for my photos, it set the perfect mood for the largely instrumental set that Versa unleashed on us. One highlight of the show for me was the encore performance of LCD Soundsystem’s hit All My Friends. The band invited all the other musicians on the bill as well as any audience members so inclined to join them on stage. The result was an amazing stage party of controlled chaos.

You can next see Les Monstres Terribles at the Solstice Cafe on Tuesday August 3rd (event details). Keep your eyes peeled for new shows from Versa to be announced soon. The full collection of photos from the evening can be found can be found on the EhBSeasides Flickr page here.

Right after the Versa CD release party I ran over to Sugar Nightclub to catch the Victoria stop of the Malahat Revue, which combined the musical forces of Jeremy Fisher, Said the Whale, Hannah Georgas, and Aidan Knight. As what happens all too often at Sugar, the crowd that night was extremely rowdy. For some reason Said the Whale really brings out the drunk talkative types in Victoria. The girl behind me decided to scream to her friends throughout every single Hannah Georgas song. To the group’s credit they kept the set full of upbeat tunes that kept the crowd under control by jumping and singing along.

the Malahat Revue

On Sunday night I made the trip to Duncan to catch the Malahat Revue stop at the Duncan Garage Showroom. The vibe in Duncan was the total opposite of Victoria. The sold out crowd was so appreciative for the visit from the group. The night was broken up into two sets that rotated through songs from the catalogs of the four groups. When the second set wrapped up with Aidan Knight’s Jasper, the crowd leaped to their feet to dance and sing. The musicians were enthusiastically called back for an encore of a few more songs. The whole evening wrapped up with an unplugged unamplified rendition of Said the Whale’s Curse of the Currents. Even though I’ve seen Said the Whale a few times now, this was the first time I have heard Curse of the Currents live. It was perfect. I know that I wasn’t the only one in the audience with tears in my eyes by the end of that song.

The Duncan Garage Showroom provides a live video stream for all of their shows, so even if you are not planning a trip to Duncan any time soon you should definitely check out their webpage. While you do so, you can find the link for the archived stream of the Malahat Revue here.

There was a photography ban at the Victoria stop of the Malahat Revue, but you can check out the Flickr set from the Duncan show here.

The Malahat Revue

For close to the next two weeks BC-based artists Jeremy Fisher, Said the Whale, Hannah Georgas, and Aidan Knight will be joining forces in quite the unique tour. Using only one van as a support vehicle, these musicians are jumping on their bikes, gear in tow, and pedaling their way through Vancouver, Saltspring Island, Pender Island, and Vancouver Island. While a tour by bike may be a bit out of the ordinary to some, Jeremy Fisher is no stranger to the concept. In 2001 he pedaled his way from Seattle to Halifax in support of his debut album. Dubbed “One Less Tourbus”, his travels covered more than 7500 km and took more than six months. When you look at it that way, this 500+ km trek is nothing more than a leisurely ride through the park!

In true Revue form, all the groups will be performing together as one band and playing selections from each other’s catalogs. The whole shebang kicked off yesterday with a surprise show outside the CBC building in downtown Vancouver. From there the bike caravan heads through Pender Island and Saltspring Island, to Victoria, and then winds its way up Vancouver Island. The whole thing comes full circle next Saturday when the musicians return to Vancouver to play the closing day of the Vancouver Folk Festival.

So if you’re in the area in the next few days, keep your eyes peeled for the cycling group of musicians, and if you’re heading to any of the shows, consider digging out the ol’ bike! Expect to see me at the Victoria, Duncan, and Vancouver (Folk Fest) shows.

Tour dates:

  • Wednesday July 7th: Vancouver BC @ the CBC Building
  • Thursday July 8th: Saltspring Island @ Artspring
  • Friday July 9th: Pender Island @ Pender Island Community Hall
  • Saturday July 10th: Victoria @ Organics Festival
  • Saturday July 10th: Victoria @ Sugar Nightclub
  • Sunday July 11th: Duncan @ Duncan Garage Showroom
  • Wednesday July 14th: Roberts Creek @ Roberts Creek Hall
  • Friday July 16th: Nanaimo @ Nanaimo Entertainment Centre
  • Sunday July 18th: Vancouver @ Vancouver Folk Fest