If you’re a fan of the popular Phillips Backyard Weekender, there’s a good chance you spent the last couple days regularly checking the weather app on your phone to see if rain was still in the forecast for night one.
And while it was really touch and go there for a while, by the time four o’clock rolled around on Friday afternoon, just as the gates to the brewery were opening up, the sun blazed a path through the clouds and sanctified us with some serious shine.
As an early wave of concertgoers filtered into the venue, they were met with the afternoon’s opening act, homegrown Victoria talents Georgia Murray and D-Whiz – collectively known as LiiNKS. Murray showcased her impressive vocal skills with a dynamic hip hop-infused R&B set and touted the duo’s repeat appearance later in the evening at the festival’s official after-party at Lucky Bar.
The second performance of the night came from funky-as-hell New Orleans jam band Dumpstaphunk. These guys are so deep down the funk rabbit hole that they need two bass players! Needless to say, the crowd was full-on digging their groovy covers of Led Zeppelin’s Ramble On and Prince’s Sexy MF. Ya heard?
Then came the moment that much of the evening’s crowd of close to 3,000 was waiting for: the much-anticipated return to Victoria of “The Magnificent” DJ Jazzy Jeff. Supported by Philadelphia rapper/hype man Dayne Jordan, the Jazzy one deftly played the role of house party DJ, rolling hot between new and classic genre-spanning sing-along tracks. And yes, of course he played both Summertime and the theme from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, much to the crowd’s delight. Yo holmes, smell ya later.
Finally, on a night filled with funky vibes, it fell to the Funk Hunters to take things home. DJ duo Nick Middleton and Duncan Smith brought their soulful brand of EDM to the party and kept the dance floor bumping. Joining them on stage to round out that funky sound were vocalist Tonye Aganaba, guitarist/vocalist Steven Beddall and saxophonist Chris Wilson. By the time they were halfway through their set, the clouds finally burst and we experienced our first serious precipitation of the evening, but by that point, the crowd was too funked up to care.
Next up: Backyard Saturday. Oh yeah.