What happens when you stick a bunch of musicians from across the west coast of America in a 30′ RV with a couple photographers and videographers? Something magical called the West Coast Ghost Tour.
After some of the warmest days of the summer, the 30′ RV rolled into one of Victoria’s premiere outdoor venue, ANIÁN, an intimate space full of good people, good beers, and surfboards, all completely off the grid. All of the power used to run the space is collected through solar panels, and rainwater is collected and used to water the gardens that spread among the ANIÁN yard.
As the evening cooled off, Nashville based singer-songwriter Matt Wright took the stage. His upbeat set was filled with laughter and smiles, at one point relaying a story about crossing the border that day, and how their videographer was denied entry into Canada, because he stole a bottle of water when he was a teenager.
Matt then led a chant of “LET COLE IN! LET COLE IN!” in hopes that it would sway Canadian Border Services. Unfortunately it didn’t work.
After a quick turnaround, L.A.’s Zealyn took the stage and quickly turned some heads with her electropop sounds and powerful voice. The songstress played a majority of her debut EP, Limbic System, but it was the single Talk:Listen that left the crowd with goosebumps, wanting more. It wasn’t a surprise to find out that Zealyn had already found quite a bit of success under her own name, Angie Miller, having landed third place on American Idol a few years earlier before breaking out with the pseudonym Zealyn.
The dapper and mustachioed Kris Orlowski of Seattle wooed the audience with his acoustic set. During his show, he reminisced about playing Distrikt a few months prior, opening for Hot Water Music’s Chuck Ragan. Kris declared that ANIÁN was a much more interesting venue to play and the crowd cheered in agreement. Moments later he jumped into the audience to play among the people. Kris’ voice was unforgettable and haunting as he moved about the small venue. His set certainly left us wanting more.
Victoria’s Fintan O’Brien was among the many local musicians who’d come out to support the show and was asked to play a quick set between Kris Orlowski and headliner Tyson Montsenbocker. Promoter Colin McTaggart joked that the show needed to make its CanCon requirements.
Throughout the night, musicians rotated to the stage to join their fellow tour mates for a song or two, but none was more prevalent than headliner Tyson Motsenbocker. He spent most of the night cheering on his friends at the side of the stage with a beer in his hand and an anxious energy to hop on the stage.
Tyson peppered his set with new material from an upcoming album he’s just started working on, but did play several songs off his most recent album, Letters to Lost Loves, an insanely personal album that we can’t recommend enough. You won’t regret checking it out. He did a glorious cover of R. Kelly’s ridiculous song, Echo.
During his set, Motsenbocker waxed poetic about the changing landscape of west coast cities, invaded by tech companies that are pushing out honest folks and artists from places they’ve lived their whole lives. Having spent lots of time here in Victoria over the years, Tyson mentioned that he saw it starting to happen here.
At the end of the night, all the performers came to the stage to sing a final song and take a final bow together. Their smiles lit up the late August night and it was clear that this was a group of people who cared deeply for each other and what they were doing. Something that seems to be rare these days.