Surrounded by mountains and nudged in by the sea, Vancouver Island’s Comox Valley, along with the surrounding Gulf Islands, plays host to some of North America’s most diversified music festivals.
While many music venues are open year round featuring homegrown musicians as well as top-billed international stars, it is during the summer season when the jammin’ picks up and the rockin’ tunes really hit the airwaves. Since I tend to revere the ingenuity of a fledging production, while enjoying diversity of rhythm, I was on a mission to attend at least one grassroots music festival this season.
With that in mind, it wasn’t long before I found myself at the premiere of the July 23, 2011 Rhythm on the Rock Music Festival, an all ages event put together by local promoter Lightburn Productions, in concert with Baird Entertainment.
The eclectic line-up included performances by 50th Parallel and Montreal’s solo artist Annie Becker, who introduced her brand new ukulele in a cute little number. The Festival also featured some of the best of the up and coming talent the Comox Valley has to offer.
From among the bands, however, it was the dynamic presence of the valley’s own indie rock group Multicoloured Mischief (MCM) who, midway through the line-up, offered the most enticing music of the night. With their own brand of spiritually inspired lyrics and mixed musical elements (ranging from the rockn’ska and reggae beat of the sultry “Blow on the Embers” and “B-Minor” to their more funky and classic rock rhythms), MCM’s performance proved a tough act to follow. With more than a few calls for an encore by end of their invigorating set, there was no question as to a fan base for this group of young guys whose legato vibe also reaches into many other local and metropolitan venues.
And so it was, as MCM launched into their title track, the sun began its descent for yet another west coast twilight, I perched my middle aged frame at the edge of the mosh, and gave myself over to the excitement of the band and the dancing crowd.