Day two of the Phillips Backyard kicked off Saturday afternoon, with organizers hoping to build on the hype of Friday night’s auspicious opening to the weekend. Saturday’s lineup featured an eclectic mix of performances spanning various genres – from ambient electronic to bhangra bass, indie go-go to indigenous EDM.
Rocktographers above the Backyard Weekender. #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
First on the docket was Victoria’s Chris Long AKA Longshanks, appearing as his alter ego, Monolithium. At home in the realm of late night club music, Monolithium instead found himself challenged with an afternoon focus group, who may or may not have been ready to digest and decipher the machinations of his post-techno analog computer music. As the crowd began to gather and a light rain started to fall, a treble-charged IDM soundscape permeated the venue, and we were off and running.
The afternoon’s second act was Bellingham, Washington’s Grant Eadie, an electronic music producer and viola virtuoso who performs as Manatee Commune. Eadie, a classically trained musician, blended ambient beats with live viola and electric guitar, creating harmonious down-tempo rhythms that conjured images of a blissful collective of docile sea mammals frolicking in the shallow waters of the West Indies. What’s not to love?
The rain that had been falling steadily for about an hour finally let up in time for the evening’s third performers, desiSUBculture, an offshoot of popular Vancouver band Delhi 2 Dublin. Featuring members Tarun Nayer on beats, Ravi Binning on the dhol drum and Sanjay Seran on vocals, the group introduced us to their vision of global bass music. Mixing traditional Punjabi folk with modern bhangra and EDM, they really got the crowd hopping.
Primed to keep the party going was RDGLDGRN (pronounced red-gold-green). This 3-piece band from just outside Washington, DC is comprised of Red (Marcus Parham) on guitar, Gold (Andrei Busuioceanu) on bass and Green (Pierre Desrosiers) on vocals, along with their touring drummer “Snacks”. They feature a unique style, combining elements of indie alt rock with hip hop and DC go-go, a regional East Coast style that features syncopated rhythms and a focus on audience call and response. The group’s high energy captured the crowd’s attention and took things to the next level.
Closing out the night was the celebrated native producer/DJ crew out of Ottawa, A Tribe Called Red. DJ NDN, Bear Witness and 2oolman provided the audience with a portal into urban and contemporary indigenous culture, fusing elements of hip hop with traditional pow wow drums and vocals, all with a polished EDM production. Rounding out the show was a thrilling appearance by the Lekungwen Dancers of the Songhees Nation. It was a performance not to be missed.
Next up: the big Sunday finale, featuring Bahamas and Milky Chance. Weekender whaaat?!