The Flaming Lips’ opening moments at Rifflandia V.
We begin with my “shot of the festival” (to rival my AWOLNATION shot from R4) :: The Flaming Lips. Spectacle = Very Yes.
Want another angle? Watch the confetti cannons refuse to quit, along with Pol Plastino’s amazing introduction, courtesy Adam Lee of Magmazing Music . . .
Rich Aucoin brought out the preschool parachute at the War Child Lounge.
One of the greatest things about a festival like Rifflandia is the new musical discoveries you make, sometimes completely by accident.
Prior to shooting his show, I’d only heard tell of Rich Aucoin, what a chill guy he is, and how amazing, yet indescribable, his performance is.
Well, when I saw him Friday at Royal Athletic Park, my mind was blown. Indescribably.
I was lucky enough to catch him the next day at the War Child Lounge in the Atrium. That’s an intimate, typically acoustic venue, but Rich made it his own.
It was loud, it was happy, it was bouncy, and everybody sang. Everybody.
I am a fan. Should Victoria ever be lucky enough to receive him again, I’ll be there.
I loved this particular moment more than almost any other at the entire festival this year, second only to the moment when more Flittery Paper (term © Sarah Scully) than I’ve ever seen in my life rained down on us from The Flaming Lips.
Once again showing what I can’t properly describe, Adam “Magmazing” Lee was able to properly capture his performance . . .
Rich’s show in the Atrium was a moving target. Never once on the stage, but on the floor with the audience, he was always bouncing from person to person, leading them in everything from crouching to bouncing to singing.
As per the last shot, the parachute started out in a wide open circle. Then, he had everybody run in.
Not sure what to do as a guy with two cameras strapped to him, I let the circle close to see what’d happen next and, when everyone stayed underneath, singing and bouncing, I gave my camera a rough focus, stuck my hand in between two people’s ankles, and shot with all hope for a positive outcome.
I was lucky enough to win the day with this shot.
Rich Aucoin sings to a fan. The devotion was palpable.
Even on the main stage, Rich wasn’t content to stay put. He’d set his music loops going (while his two live drummers kept the beat strong), then step onto the crowd barrier (sometimes tightrope walking along it), only to jump into the crowds on either side for singalongs or jumpalongs or high-fivealongs before hopping back over to return to the stage.
It was no different in the Atrium. He sang from the stage. He sang from the floor. He sang from tables. He sang from chairs.
Here, he closed off a verse to this hopelessly enamoured young lady before jumping off and returning to the main crowd on the floor.
A common sight for me during my time in the photo pit.
I’m sure there’s a better industry name for it, but I dubbed the channel separating the “normal” audience from the beer garden audience The Tube.
I grew quite fond of shooting from The Tube, partially because I could generally get a pretty good, undistorted view of the band with my telephoto . . . or an all-encompassing, dead-centre, sooper-wide view of the staging and the audience, like the top shot of The Flaming Lips.
However, the predominant advantage of shooting from The Tube was being able to breathe, rather than trying to swim through the sea of photographers usually right at the front.
My partner in crime for Rifflandia V, Carson Bain.
Here we see Carson falling victim to the deadly Flittery Paper of Rich Aucoin.
Hayley Mary of The Jezabels.
I didn’t know who The Jezabels were before Rifflandia. I do now, and I love ’em. Here, go love ’em, too!
Ah, Dan Mangan. The ladies love him.
I’ve shot Current Swell several times but, for one reason or another, end up on the wrong side of the pit/festival when Dave St. Jean (who, up ’til that point, had been playing some accessory percussion) comes bounding on stage, is handed his trombone from the wings, and begins blasting his solo.
Finally, I got him!
I was absolutely thrilled with how this photo worked out.
This here is Jon Landry, vocalist for The Stanfields.
The grungy wall, the perfectly bounced sunlight, the relaxed look, the thirds composition, and this was all at 1:00 pm (a typically harsh time of day for natural light) . . . I felt damn good about this shot.
These moments were nice. A bit off breathing before a show began. Fans assembled, photographers milled, crew made their final adjustments, and everybody waited for the next band . . .
A volunteer (in disguise!) watches Luluc at the War Child Lounge in the Atrium.
Luluc, a pair from Australia, were the perfect start to this concert series.
If the whole of Rifflandia seems like too much for you, donate $10 to War Child and come to one of these concerts. Four bands, intimate venue, beautiful music.
I missed the first War Child Lounge ’cause I was unaware of its existence. I missed the second due to scheduling. I’ll not miss another.
The guitar strings of Scott Stanton from Current Swell.
I guess holding up a lighter isn’t cool anymore.
This is Darian, on the shoulders of her papa. I’ve seen her at every festival for the last little while. Good on papa for bringing her into the music scene.
Jasmin Parkin of Mother Mother, on fire. They closed out Rifflandia V.
Molly Guldemond (at least her hips) during the final show of the festival.
Mother Mother, who’ve become somewhat of a staple at Rifflandia (one year playing an emergency second show when their first sold out), wrapped the show in fine, loud, style.