Rifflandia 2009 Day 4

Photos by Aretha Munro

With the second annual Rifflandia music festival coming to a close, Sunday brought a modest set of performances, with some welcome addition. Vancouver’s Mother Mother, who had performed on Friday in the festival to an at-capacity Market Square, generously performed two extra last-minute shows at Element Nightclub and Sugar Nightclub to ensure all their fans had a chance to see them.

With the venue open to all ages, Mother Mother performed an early show at Element Nightclub to an intimate crowd. Showcasing hits such as “Wrecking Ball,” “Oh My Heart,” and “Hayloft,” this five-piece hit their notes perfectly and adapted well to the smaller venue. Lead singer Ryan Guldemond commented during the show that he liked the intimate environment and was happy to be able to reach out to the band’s younger fan-base. Consisting of Guldemond, his sister Molly Guldemond, as well as Jasmin Parkin, Jeremy Page, and Ali Siadat, Mother Mother has managed to find a catchy and original sound that never fails to get people moving. Overall, their performance was excellent and, with the band jumping on board for two extra shows last minute, a great representation of the supportive and positive spirit of Rifflandia.

Brendan CanningFollowing Mother Mother’s performance, Brendan Canning, indie rocker and founding member of Canadian indie super-group Broken Social Scene, took to the stage, this time as DJ. Digging through his vinyl collection for the better part of his set, Canning spun everything from classic 60’s pop to more contemporary hip hop, pop, and rock tunes. Unfortunately however, it felt like his impressive playlist was underappreciated as the venue was very low on audience members. Due in large part to the fact that it was the end of a long weekend of performances, with many festival-goers returning to their respective homes, Sunday’s performances had low turnout across the board. K-Os, who was to follow Canning’s DJ set with one of his own, also didn’t take to the stage until well after his set time, which led us to miss his show. These small glitches however, are simply evidence of a relatively new music festival that should still be declared an enormous success. It takes time to work out these small road bumps in the early stages of what I hope will be an annual festival for years to come.

Looking back on the weekend, it is truly astounding to review the list of extraordinary Canadian and International talent that convened in our province’s modest capital. From Champion, Shad, and Buck 65, to Tegan and Sara, Dan Mangan and Said the Whale, it truly is a mark of a great festival to have such an impressive roster of performers and then pull it off with such aplomb. A community atmosphere was felt and reiterated every day at each and every venue, with thanks to Rifflandia organizers, the many musicians involved, and the festival-goers as well. Without a doubt Rifflandia 2009 was a huge success and I will be counting down the days until Rifflandia 2010.