Day 2 of Rifflandia 2023 Electric Avenue brought sunny skies and the return of musical instruments oh and a certain hotel heiress sliving in an industrial area of downtown Victoria.
To sum up Friday at the festival using the headliner’s famouse words… “That’s hot”…
Victoria’s Pony Gold kicked off the day 2 as the very first actual band of the festival, an alt-country one to boot. Early festival goers entered Electric Avenue to beautiful vocals by frontwoman Theresa Bromley and smooth slide guitar solos by her her husband Matt.
It was great start to the lineup of BC bands on the Base 2 stage curated by MusicBC.
Vancouver’s folk-pop duo Fionn channeled their Irish roots part way through their set covering one of their “favourite songs ever”, The Cranberries ‘Dreams’. The identical twins then ditched their mic stands and instruments to sing and perform a a bit of choreography tapping into the pop side of their music.
There were even more siblings at Base 2 when Vancouver’s Vox Rea (sisters Kate and Lauren Kurdyak) took the stage with Victoria’s The Bankes Brothers as their backing band. In a social media post after their performance it was revealed that The Bankes Brothers learned Vox Rea’s set in a week.
Victoria pop artist Xana headlined the Base 2 stage performing a hometown show as a solo artist for the first time. Many of Xana’s childhood friends were in attendance and her mother was standing in the front row.
Over at The Dome and the main stage, the dance party that started Thursday with a series of DJ sets from Mews, Boogey The Beat, Max Ulis, Young Bombs, Dane, Blossom, JackLNDN, A-Trak and Smalltown DJs.
Crowds at all stages felt significantly larger all day leading up to Friday’s headliner Paris Hilton. Prior to the set staff tossed hundreds of foam sticks wrapped in a Paris Hilton logo and a flashing coloured LED light inside into the audience. When Hilton took to the stage the crowd was packed. So much so it was difficult to move. Paris Hilton may not be a top notch turntablist, but when a DJ’s job is to bring the audience a good time, mission accomplished. Both Paris and the audience at the front looked to be enjoying every moment. Hilton ended her set hitting play on her 2006 single ‘Stars are Blind’ before stepping out from behind the decks to sing to her track. Paris then signed autographs on CDs and DVDs fans in the front row and brought. She wanted her set to continue but couldn’t due to the midnight sound curfew. She remained on stage for at least 10 minutes more to thank the audience and was seen side stage continuing to interact with die-hard fans and then kissing her husband. Hilton apparently remained at the venue for more than an hour after her show and while being driven back to her hotel, stopped the car so she could hang out with a few people on the sidewalk on Government Street.