I’m no stranger to the Backyard Weekender magic. In fact, when writing this, I realised I have a perfect record. Five crazy, hazy, sometimes rainy, weekends spent with 3,000 of my closest friends, sipping on suds and catching some of the most well established artists and exciting up-and-comers. Over the last five years this event has grown into one of the most beloved homegrown parties Victoria has to offer. So in honour of year five, here’s my five picks:
The Velveteins, Friday @ 4:30 pm
The Velveteins are so much more than Edmonton’s hip new things. They’ll be bringing their own brand daydream infused psych rock to the Weekender stage before heading out on a west coast tour . Not able to split from work in time to see them kick things off? Head to the Official Backyard Weekender official after party at Sugar Nightclub and watch them surf that stage.
Little Destroyer, Saturday @ 4:15 pm
This Vancouver trio make some serious noise and it’s all you can do not to be totally swept up by their sonic hurricane. Heavy atmospheric synths and unique vocals blend with darkly cathartic lyrics to create delicious, pulsing, high energy alt-pop. And I mean alt. Brace yourself, there’s a storm coming.
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Saturday @ 6:30 pm
Time for the heavy hitters. Karl Denson is a world renowned saxophonist, flutist and vocalist, touring with Lenny Kravitz and The Rolling Stones. His project Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe have been called “one of the best live bands on the planet”, a blazing cacophony of funk, soul, and jazz tinged jams. This one is a must-see.
Mariachi Flor De Toloache, Sunday @ 4:15 pm
An all female mariachi band hailing from New York City. This talented group puts a fresh spin on traditional Mexican and Latin music, singing in both Spanish and English and throwing in some “mariachi rock” for good measure (Nirvana’s Come As You Are anyone?) A perfect example of the kind of eclectic, inspiring programming The Weekender is known for.
Allen Stone, Sunday @ 5:30 pm
Self described ‘hippie with soul’, Allen Stone’s songwriting sensibilities may show his left coast leanings, but his delivery is all heartfelt, vintage 70s soul. Somewhat of a dark horse in this line up, Stone’s highly charged, gospel infused R&B and reputation for powerful live performances makes this one show not to be missed.