The sounds of homegrown Vancouver Island rock permeated the subterranean confines of Distrikt Nightclub on Friday, November 4th for the first installment of The Zone at 91-3’s Band of the Month Showcases for 2017. Every year from January through August, the powers-that-be at Victoria’s modern rock radio station of record highlight a monthly up-and-coming local or regional act who they deem worthy of some additional buzz.
In the spirit of fostering the success of vibrancy of local music scene, Rocktographers was proud to continue our partnership with The Zone for #BotM, providing promotional photo shoots for all eight winners to help support the campaign. We thoroughly enjoyed working with all this year’s #BotM artists, so we were excited to be on hand at Distrikt for the first of two celebratory live showcases.
First up for Showcase #1 were hugely popular Victoria hip hop crew Illvis Freshly. This funky foursome have cultivated a solid local fan base of day ones who consistently turn out to bounce along with DJ Mt. Doyle’s bass-laden beats and Phil Lyons’ flaming hot guitar licks. Oh, and of course, you know you’re gonna get a lyrical education from the resident Illennials themselves, MCs Danimal House and Doc Zoo. The group got props for packing in a huge crowd at Lucky Bar back in September for a memorable Rifflandia Festival performance and, even with an early call time in the opening slot for this #BOTM show, they still managed to fill the dance floor. Mission accomplished.
Next up was one of this year’s under-the-radar #BOTM entries, Lawn Social, a 5-piece heavy rock band out of Nanaimo. Like Illvis Freshly before them, the group had a solid following of loyal fans in attendance, which provided some welcome support on what was essentially away game for these fresh-faced newcomers to the Distrikt stage. Slight and unassuming lead singer Jordan McDonald endeared himself to the crowd early on with a bit of old-fashioned nerdcore charm, keeping his cool while sipping water from a comically large plastic water jug between songs.
The evening’s penultimate performance came from Victoria alt-rockers extraordinaire, Vaultry. These guys are polished and meticulous when it comes to their craft, so you know their shows are always going to be high volume and high energy. They kicked things off with guitarist Bradford Davis shredding mystery riffs as he secretly wandered through the crowd with a wireless rig, while frontman Leif Hynds, clad in a crisp, slim fit suit while clearly having a significant amount of fun as a blond, prowled the stage, seemingly testing the temperature of the crowd and coming to the realization that at some point during the set he would be taking off his jacket and rolling up his shirtsleeves. And three songs later, that’s exactly what happened. Because it was getting hot up in that club.
And speaking of hot, to close out the night’s festivities, we took a virtual acid trip back to the ’70s for an incendiary performance from fuzzy throwback rock aficionados Malahat. No shoes required for this experience. Just turn on, tune in, and drop out into a world of supersonic psychedelic enlightenment. If only every week could end in a hazy silk scarf, tiger/zebra-print shared experience.
We’ll be back at Distrikt for #BOTM Showcase #2 on Friday, November 24, and we’re jazzed for another stacked slate of sets from the likes of Astrocolor, High Noon to Midnight, Fintan O’Brien, and Dirty Mountain!