Category: Shows

Throwback to Simpler Times: Rifflandia 2018


The last instalment of Rifflandia took place in downtown Victoria from September 13th – 16th, 2018. In its 11th year, it has established itself as an excellent west coast mid-size festival experience. The festival grounds themselves were a manageable and excellent size. The crowds felt busy and excited, but not overwhelming. Even bathroom lines were reasonable; something not every festival can boast.

This festival took place throughout the city. Philips Brewery had stages in their backyard and the main festival grounds were at Royal Athletic Park. However, once the main acts were done for the evening, various bars and clubs throughout the downtown core continued to play Rifflandia events well into the night.



NineEightSeven took the “Tsawwassen –> Swartz Bay” ferry across on Thursday night, and pre-gamed with a BC Burger. Night One started with Adventure Club at the Phillips Backyard. We arrived and found ourselves slightly not in the mental state of the largely UVic crowd who had been partying longer. Realizing our mistake, we set out to remedy this issue and stumbled upon the biggest surprise of the festival:

Diamond Café took the stage at the Capital Ballroom, and is all we’ve been talking about since. The group is young, but the lead singer’s voice is enormous. They have an 80s sound, and a dancey, sensual vibe. The lead singer would frequently carry the room away with a note hitting a higher range or held longer than anyone expected.



NineEightSeven entered Royal Athletic Park for Blitzen Trapper at the RiffTop Tent. Royal Athletic Park had two stages: Rifftop and Main. Given the size of the festival grounds, they essentially alternate. Blitzen Trapper hails from Oregon, and they have a decidedly Pacific Northwest vibe, perfectly at home in the Victoria surrounds.


Royal Athletic Park closed the night with Daniel Caesar. His soulful voice and rarely-flashed heartbreaking smile made the crowd fall in love completely. His voice and sound brought a private show feeling to the Main Stage in Victoria.

NineEightSeven then returned to the Capital Ballroom for a completely contrasting musical experience, Fucked Up. Their sound inspired a (admittedly low key) mosh pit and let audience members release any lingering energy.



There were two acts that NineEightSeven were most amped for going into Rifflandia, and they happened to both be on Saturday (late afternoon/evening).

Before that, though, Sonreal delivered some feel-good sing-along rap. He moves like no one I’ve ever seen. Legs seemingly on springs, microphone nearly parallel to the ground, and then he’s suddenly up and back and sing rapping in a completely different part of the stage.


However, for us, the whole festival had been opening for Bishop Briggs – and she delivered. Moving around the stage like a boxer, one moment sprinting, another ready to fight. Her demon, pixie dream energy somehow directly correlated to the deep, full vocals behind banger after banger. She charged from stage left to stage right, and made us all fall in love. She took moments to address the crowd and her higher, more reserved speaking voice nearly quivered with gratitude and excitement. She belted out high energy, big vocals hits like “White Flag”, “Hallowed Ground”, and “Wild Horses”. She sheepishly apologized for her first love song, “Baby” (about Sir Sly frontman, Landon Jacobs), and warned parents in the audience of some mildly explicit lyrics. And, of course, delivered her biggest hit (so far!), “River”. We love Bishop Briggs.


In the Saturday closer, a different kind of female lead took the stage: Jessie Reyez from Toronto. She’d made cross-Canada radio waves with “Figures” in late 2017. But anyone who thought “Figures” was her whole sound would have been incredibly surprised at the R&B/rap sound she brought to stage. She angrily dismantles sexual harassment in the music industry in “Gatekeeper”; laughs at fuckbois in “Bodycount”; even more angrily yells at fuckbois in her collaboration with Eminem, “Nice Guy”; dances along to the Dua Lipa/Calvin HarrisOne Kiss” that she penned; and slows down and opens up in “Apple Juice”. She spoke to the crowd frequently throughout the set, bringing us in and making it more a of a conversation than simply a collection of songs.

It’s clear that, after 11 years of running this annual event, Rifflandia has this whole festival thing down. Can’t wait for the next edition 🙂



Review: Alex Jardine

Photos: Yasmin Hannah

Constellation Fest 2019


This was the first year of Constellation Fest and NineEightSeven’s first year covering it!

Constellation took place on Hendricks Field in Squamish from July 26th – 28th. The Greater Vancouver festival market has been notably lean in 2019 as older mainstays such as Squamish Valley Music Festival and Pemberton have bitten the dust while Skookum and Rifflandia took a year off.

Constellation aimed to bring a west coast mid-size festival experience to the Pacific Northwest, and it did just that. The weekend was met with idyllic July weather (apart from a brief Friday shower). The festival grounds themselves were an excellent size. The crowds felt busy and excited, but not overwhelming. Beer, food, and bathroom lines were manageable. Similar to Rifflandia, Constellation used two alternating stages, with the main stage facing the Stawamus Chief.

Beyond the music, Constellation mixed in local vendors and artists, with several art installations evolving over the course of the festival. One paint-by-numbers zone had a large canvas and allowed everyone to get involved.

It is also worth noting that Constellation had many initiatives to go zero waste. They appeared to be partnering with waste giant, GFL, which allowed for waste-of-all-kind depositories and kept the festival grounds spick and span.



NineEightSeven’s 2019 Constellation Festival began in Vancouver Friday afternoon. By locating in Squamish, getting to the festival was relatively easy via car or festival shuttles. While camping was available off-site, NineEightSeven stayed at a nearby hotel to maximize sleep, bathrobes and water slides.


Our festival began with Canadian act, Dear Rouge performing local radio mainstays “Black to Gold”, “Live Through The Night” and others. Lead singer, Danielle McTaggart, partnered with purple smoke bombs and a black and white robe, brought NineEightSeven right into Constellation’s mode.

Following them, Edmonton band of brothers Scenic Route to Alaska took the smaller Creative BC Stage to smoke and a brief rain shower. They have a ‘Central Canada‘ guitar sound that fit right into the evening and fed into Friday headliner Serena Ryder.


She began with her biggest hit, high energy, “Stompa”. From there, through the smoke machines, she mixed in slow songs and heavier guitar and eventually caused the only rainstorm of the weekend.

After a brief pit-stop, NineEightSeven hit up the official after-party at the best nightclub on the Sea-to-Sky, The Knotty Burl. Truly having everything one might look for in a post festival experience, The Knotty Burl provided a nightly option for a sweatier dance party after a day in the grass with more relaxed music. Hot Hot Heat’s bassist, Parker Bossley, played to a packed crowd eager for the night to continue.




NineEightSeven made it in for Vancouver’s own, Peach Pit. Well, we made it in before that but got stuck at festival sponsor, Nude’s activity zone, sipping beverages and playing corn-hole. The Saturday crowd was a wide range of ages, with a surprisingly large number of kids. The family atmosphere felt at-one with a Squamish weekend while little posses of children roamed around coming up with games that only they could understand. Peach Pit came with facial hair, and a Vancouver hipster look and sound on the main stage.


Following Peach Pit, rapper (and briefly Studio Q host) Shad was on the Creative BC Stage. He mixed older classics with some newer tracks and upped the hip-hop significantly after a couple days of largely Indie Rock.

Following in the hip-hop vein was A Tribe Called Red. They began with a message, letting the crowd know that one of their members had been profiled and taken out of the festival. In response, the crowd booed and were firmly siding with A Tribe Called Red. Once the set began, some truly spectacular indigenous dancers and hoops wowed and accompanied classics such as “Electric Pow Wow Drum”.


NineEightSeven’s surprise favourite of the weekend followed, Cosmo Sheldrake. A couple of his songs have hit the mainstream in a few surprising ways, “The Moss” and “Come Along”, popping up in places such as Apple ads and the intro to The Masked Singer. He seems to mix lyrics you might associate with Dr. Seuss into a looped DJ set. His soft-spoken London accent matches his on-stage persona: perfectly: unassuming, but in full control. Fortunately, this was not the last time we saw Cosmo that evening.


In the roll of the Saturday closer, Jessie Reyez. You probably know her by now, but if not, she made cross-Canada radio waves with “Figures” in late 2017. However, only associating her music with Figures misses the R&B/rap sound of much of her other stuff. Unfortunately, Jessie hurt herself a few weeks prior and for a while Constellation looked dicey. However, she made it and began in her signature hoodie and hat. She went through classics such as “Gatekeeper”, “Apple Juice” and “Body Count” before lying down on the stage. Typically, she rips back and forth and today her movement was decidedly slower. She then said:

You guys my back is killing me. I don’t want to stop the show, but I’ve got to sit down”.

All of a sudden, a couch appeared on stage and she lay on it and kept singing all the way through a closing “Figures”. As she likes to, she frequently brought the crowd in, telling stories of coming up performing on the street, and dealing with industry low-lifes.


However, the night was far from done as Cosmo Sheldrake was performing at The Knotty Burl. Reprising some tunes from earlier, with some new loops and mixes, he nearly didn’t play his biggest hit, “Come Along”. Fortunately, some aggressive crowd cajoling brought him back on stage to finish off Saturday at Constellation with this tune.



Sunday began slowly for NineEightSeven and the festival. Following legalization, cannabis giant Aurora sponsored a Weed Garden, enabling Aurora plastered hats to be on almost each on every head in the grounds. We checked it out before taking in songstress, Begonia. She has a big voice (think Lily Allen) perfect for larger venues and for taking in on the grass in front of the main stage.


From there, Current Swell brought a little heavier rock before Sunday highlight, Half Moon Run. They sang dreamy classics such as “Full Circle”, along with the new single and a few other tunes off their at-the-time-unreleased album, “A Blemish in the Great Light”.


Unfortunately, from there, NineEightSeven had to jet back Vancouver way, eagerly awaiting Constellation 2020 (July 24-26).

9.87/10 – Can’t wait wait for next year!


Review: Alex Jardine

Photos: Mikhail Din

Judah and the Lion // Orpheum

Sit back and get ready to go for a wild ride, because that’s exactly how the Judah & The Lion concert felt.

Their advertised opening act Floracash was a no-show, with local Vancouver band Harlequin Gold taking their place without explanation.


Set in the gorgeous Orpheum theatre, the acoustics played out well, although the seating situation made it a little hard to rock out. When it was time for Judah & The Lion to come out, the lights dimmed drawing a hush over the crowd. The great white sheet hanging in front of the stage became illuminated, silhouetting the band and their marching drums hanging from their necks. An intense play of light and sound began, with the shadows and flashes matching the marching band beats. Choir like vocals filled the air and then suddenly the curtain was dropped to reveal Judah & The Lion performing the title track from their latest album “Pep Talks”.

In a blast of music and art, the concert was underway with such high energy from Judah Akers as he ran around stage moving in such a signature way, it was hard not to smile at his authentic love of performing.


If you’re new to Judah & The Lion, they’re a Tennessee band with a 21 Pilots-meets-bluegrass vibe. Their music is a wonderful amalgamation of guitars, banjo’s, electronics and suburban teen angst. Their lyrics are always relatable and honest in a way that makes you feel like you’ve lived the same life, or at least a parallel.

Judah kept referring to the seats in the Orpheum as a hinderance to rocking out, but urged the crowd to overlook the seats and come dance in the aisles. Between songs, he made audience participation a game by separating the crowd into two teams. One team was placed on banjo player Nate Zuercher‘s side and the remaining team on mandolin player Brian Macdonald‘s side. Making everyone dance without inhibition, Judah kept the crowd participation up the entire night, constantly jumping from side to side without playing favourites.


The segue between songs was a beautiful storyline, carried along by perfectly timed lights and sound.

It felt like a magical experience in a church of music, with the way Judah slowed down the music and took the time to talk about his personal experience of being on the road, and how he came to write “pictures” – a song recorded with Kacey Musgraves.


Judah opened up about his parents’ divorce and struggle with addiction, explaining that the song stemmed from an emotional call from his mother, while she was packing up his childhood home up during his tour. The song started with only him on stage, but ended with the entire band coming out to support him with vocals and other instruments.

Each of the band members wore tops that had the word “family” emblazoned across the front, and it felt like family and unity were the main themes of the night.


Moving from slow songs on piano, to high energy seemed like an impossible task, but with flashes of air cannons and bright lights, they were at it again, throwing the cheering crowd into favourites from their 2017 album Folk Hop N’Roll.

Running into the crowd and all the way to the back of the theatre, Judah made sure to high five as many fans as possible (something that must have been a nightmare for his security). He announced that he wanted to “bring out the rowdy” from the crowd, urging all of us to let go of our shyness and just dance, or do what felt right.


Though this was the 54th show on their Pep Talk tour, the band showed no signs of fatigue.

There was a truly touching moment when Judah played a song on his twelve string, slowing everything down to truly connect with the crowd. Nate had several gorgeous banjo solo’s, showcasing his true talent of the instrument, with quick fingered bluegrass riffs. Not to be outdone by his bandmates, Brian switched between various guitars and the mandolin throughout the entire set. The supporting band members were just as incredible with their energetic playing and tight beats.


This is a band that needs to be seen live to have a masterclass in what a great performance looks like. From the cohesion that came with telling stories between songs through light and sound, to the rad dance moves of Judah moving like liquid and solid state all at the same time, there was not one fault during the almost two hour long set.

Positivity oozed from the band, and they reinforced the importance of family, love, respect and not letting your negatives stop you from doing anything.

Their encore consisted of three final songs, the crowd practically yelling the lyrics to “Take It All Back”. Once the final curtain had closed and the lights were up, the crowd walked out on clouds of elation. People that were once strangers felt like friends, not a single unsmiling face was seen in the Orpheum.



Review: Melissa Riemer

Photos: Louis Lay

Boy & Bear // Commodore Ballroom


Australian folk/indie band Boy & Bear played at the iconic Commodore Ballroom with Stu Larsen as their opener.

Stu had a voice that felt like a lullaby washing over the crowd. His style was aptly suited to Boy & Bear fans and his mellow vibes created a gentle sway that felt soft and soothing to everyone that arrived early.


Without aplomb, Boy & Bear entered the stage shortly after Larsen‘s final song to begin their set. David Hosking‘s vocals were moody, sounding like something straight from a record. There was a gritty soulfulness that added depth to each song, something that needs to be heard live rather than on an mp3 recording.

Their set consisted of old interspersed within new tracks. Their latest album “Suck On Light” was released five days before the concert, with Hosking introducing the title song to the crowd proudly. One lucky fan at the front was handed a bright orange vinyl pressing of the album, Hosking explained that even the band hadn’t received their own copies.


Killian Gavin‘s guitar work was simple but soulful, the rest of the band playing beautifully to create the sort of dreamy atmosphere that suited the songs. Hosking had a way of delivering the lyrics to each song, as if telling a story for the first time. The moodiness of the lighting show matched the warm fall/autumn sentiment that had settled over Vancouver on this grey, drizzly night.

The backing vocals and harmonies of all the band members melded into one voice, creating a warmth to meet Hosking‘s solidarity in his bold vocals.


During song changes, several of the members were seen drinking beers on stage, making the concert feel more like an intimate backyard show rather than a large theatre performance.

Once Boy & Bear had finished their set they left the stage, only to return moments later to perform the encore fans patiently waited for. David announced that they had never done encore’s in the past and that this tour was their first time trying it out.

Finishing with four more songs, midway through the encore Stu Larsen was invited back on stage. A hush fell over the crowd as people knew they were about to hear a fan favourite. Jonathan Hart‘s iconic banjo riff signalled the beginning of Boy & Bear‘s most famous cover from Melbourne band, Crowded House. “Fall At Your Feet was a treat to hear live, the harmonies were nothing short of breathtaking, with every member joining in, including an impressive show from Tim Hart, playing both drums and vocals in unison.


Review/Photos: Melissa Riemer

Of Monsters and Men // Thunderbird Arena


The chill in the air on September 28th seemed fitting to welcome the Icelandic band Of Monsters And Men to Vancouver for their first show in three years. If you’re a devoted reader of 987 then this band needs absolutely no introduction.

With lights down and nervous cheers rising up, Thunderbird Arena at UBC took on an almost ethereal, church-like feeling. Slow viking tones wavered over the crowd as the five band members took their positions in near darkness. With just the soulful high notes crying out from Brynjar Leifsson‘s guitar, he was joined by the underlying bass of Kristján Páll Kristjánsson before everything else came crashing into place in perfect precision.


Nanna Bryndis Hulmardottir threw the band into their first song “Alligator” which comes from their latest album “Fever Dream“. Her energetic singing and presence set off the Vancouver show, creating a playful atmosphere.


A huge eye from the cover of Fever Dream hung at the back of stage, looking out over the crowd with a watchful stare. The stage was awash with red and white lighting, the songs moving from upbeat to the more soulful offerings from their older albums. Nanna was a true joy to watch while she would jump back and forth between playfully beating the drums alongside Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson, then running to the front of the stage with her guitar and vocals that cut crystal clear across the arena. Ragnar Porhallsson had the sort of soothing voice that felt like you were being played a lullaby softly.



The band’s dynamic played out well on stage and the lighting was perfectly matched with the emotion of each song. The band’s drummer, Arnar, was like a meerkat constantly standing atop his drum kit to engage with the crowd, while still playing with his feet. As if begging not to be forgotten behind his hulking drum-kit, he would clap his sticks high in the air to get the crowd going.

When slower songs were played, almost everyone in the venue raised their phone flashlights to create and ethereal feeling that matched Nanna’s soulful musings. She commented that the sentiment had not gone unnoticed, saying she was almost moved to tears by the show of solidarity with their songs.


The band left the stage for several minutes, before coming back to play four more songs that had the entire stadium singing along. Nanna ran into the crowd guided by a flashlight, skipping in a full circle before climbing back onto stage to finish the set.

Vancouver was the last leg of their five week North American tour, the band now sets sail for Ireland to begin their UK Tour.


Review: Melissa Riemer

Photos: Louis Lay

Punk In Drublic 2019 – Beer and Music Review


Curated by NOFX frontman, Fat Mike, Punk in Drublic is a touring festival that celebrates the hedonistic, beer-soaked spirit of punk rock by bringing together a line-up of fresh and legacy punk bands, along with a beer festival offering unique craft beer. 

I joined the hoards of punk rockers that descended upon the PNE Amphitheatre for the second-ever Canadian date, which featured NOFX, Bad Religion, Anti-Flag, The Real McKenzies, and Chixdiggit. The sky was clear and the sun beat down. By the time I’d made it through the gates, I was damn thirsty. 


In a slightly un-punk move, the craft beer tents were only open for a few hours at the beginning of the day. This made for an in-cohesive festival experience as the beer fest and punk shows were separate entities. Either way, there was no way I was going to waste my precious beer tokens so I chose to endure long lines in the blazing parking lot to make the most of my short time at the beer festival. Here are my thoughts on the beers I got to sample:

Fuggles & Warlock – Fusion West Coast IPA: Kinda standard IPA with hoppy, woody tones. I was a little disappointed because F&W make the Kiwami Plum Sour which is one of my favourite beers ever, and it’s just so unusual tasting. I was hoping for something weirder from them. 

House of Funk Brewing Co. – Funk Juice Vol. 8, Coconut and Pineapple: I’m a sucker for a sour and this was probably my favourite beer of the fest. It was yummy, potent juice and in the midday heat, it conjured up visions of a sandy tropical island.

Taylight Brewing Inc.Slack Tide Hazy Pale Ale: Tasty af, rich, and fragrant. This one had a flavour you had to literally scrape off the back of your tongue. I could probably only drink one or two of these. It was probably only 5% but tasted like 7%, for sure. 

Dead Frog BreweryMoscow Mule Lime Ginger White Ale: Fresh, light, and fizzy with a ginger-lime aftertaste! A decent summer lager that helped rinse my palate after the heavy Taylight. This one really quenched my thirst, thank you.  

Electric Bicycle BrewingTart Pale Ale: I was drawn to Electric Bicycle because of their psychedelic red and blue tent that hurt my eyes to look at. I didn’t regret my decision. I could’ve mistaken this ale for a sour as it was so citrusy and acidic. Loved it.


Because of my beer tasting diversion, I only caught the end of Chixdiggit. The Calgary band offered your standard Fat Wreck style polished pop-punk. Nasally vocals, whoas and all. With the crowd still filtering over from the beer fest, the sound seemed lost in the space of the half-empty arena. The high-end guitars didn’t quite cut and the bass was boomy and washed out. Singer, KJ Jansen, gave a slightly obnoxious speech which featured many shout-outs, including several to himself. People seemed to dig their last song, “Geocities Kitty” and there were lots of sing-alongs in the chorus. The band got the crowd going, but their peppy shtik wasn’t for me.



Despite being the only straight-edge band at the festival, political punks Anti-Flag proved that they can have fun too. The sound wasn’t much better, but they had the stage presence and tunes to make up for it. Their setlist rarely ventured beyond 2006 and featured “Turncoat” and the frantic “Fuck Police Brutality,” which welcomed the day’s first circle pit. Whether performing flailing stage acrobatics or preaching super-focused political messages, Anti-Flag’s energy was consistently intense. The set felt fleeting but they definitely left everyone wanting more. 


The crowd swelled in size to pay respects to the legendary Bad Religion. While the band members now look like a bunch of college professors (and I’m pretty sure vocalist Greg Graffin actually is a college professor…) they’re definitely not past it. They blasted through a 20 song, career-spanning setlist. The opener, “Fuck Armageddon,” was raw and ferocious with its speedy power chords, soaring vocal melodies and harmonies. “You” won the nostalgia award for giving me flashbacks to playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 on PS1. 

They mostly played tunes from their 2019 album, Age of Unreason. New songs like “Chaos from Within” and “End of History” stay true to Bad Religion’s melodic punk roots but exemplified the fact that in all the years they’ve existed, the band has remained more or less unchanged in terms of style. I’ve really got to give it to Bad Religion for their passion and professionalism. These guys have been together for almost 40 years but still played harder and faster than bands half their age.


The last time I saw NOFX live was over 10 years ago, so when they danced onstage to “Time Warp” from Rocky Horror Picture Show, it seemed pretty on point. I soon realized that even though so much time had passed, not much had changed. 

They played a ton of fan favourites, “Linoleum” and “Perfect Government,” and the second Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater jam of the day, “Separation of Church and Skate.” The classic tracks whipped the crowd up into a sweaty mass of mohawks, dreads, and bare torsos. They also peppered the set with some reggae numbers, including a cover of Rancid’s “Radio,” that helped to switch up the pace and added to the fun, party vibe.

Drummer, Smelly, was relentless as he smashed the kit with his signature beats. Guitarist, El Hefe, parped away at his trumpet as the audience oi-oi’d  their way through “Bob” and he backed up Fat Mike’s leads with flawless vocal harmonies throughout the performance. 


As I mentioned earlier, the fest was plagued with sketchy sound, which was a shame for NOFX, a band that loves to talk shit between songs. From my position, I could barely hear their stage banter. Fat Mike and co seemed unaware though, as there was A LOT of it. I did catch one particularly offensive joke that I wouldn’t dare repeat. Even after last years’ Punk in Drublic controversy, they still found time to try and cause offence. 

Like partying with your oldest buds, there’s something extremely comforting about the familiar fun of a NOFX show. After 10 years, I thought things might be vastly different. But what I got was NOFX by numbers and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.


Photos: Yasmin Hannah

Review: Adam Bouteloupe

VMF: The Park Show

lou_4828It’s not everyday that a park is overtaken by a pop-up music festival in the heart of the contemporary suburb Mount Pleasant.

I bring to you “The Park Show”. An eclectic lineup of musicians, we hit the ground running with a DJ set from locally renowned producer, MyGayHusband!

lou_4755lou_4700As this was part of the Vancouver Mural Festival, a mural was being painted in tandem with the first two opening acts. Iskwé was up next, bringing her alternative taste to the mix. If you haven’t heard of Iskwé, she’s an indigenous singer hailing originally from Winnipeg. Her songs were reminiscent of early 2000’s band Evanescence, in a teenage indie/alt raw kind of way.

She had an important message to share with the crowd, dedicating her performance to the indigenous women of Canada who are missing. Her songs were well received by both families with young children and the drinking millennials alike.

It was truly refreshing seeing a performer like Iskwé being unapologetically herself on stage, speaking her mind and singing songs she had penned herself.

bbng2And then, just like the murals, there was a strange shift from one act to the next that didn’t completely make sense. BADBADNOTGOOD hit the stage running, and never seemed to stop until their set was over.

The Toronto-based band played jazz with a twist. Their songs incorporated electronic sounds as well as unusually structured melodies and formats that made for unique listening. There were confounding choices of melody paired with scattered drumming and frantic piano. This jazz fusion band certainly turned heads with their energetic performance and non-stop instrumentals.

lou_4810Our final act was the headliner “LP”. The moment the lights dimmed, the scattered crowd surged forward, eager to be a part of Laura Pergolizzi‘s performance. I can tell you she did not disappoint. Entering the stage to a building instrumental, she wore a top hat and an equally impressive outfit to match. Smoke machines and soft blue lights made her entrance feel magical, almost like we were being graced with the presence of The Wizard of Oz, after a trek through the other musical acts.

Grey skies from earlier rains loomed over with ghostlike vibes, while LP cried out her high notes over the screaming of fans. Someone had bought an absurdly oversized red balloon with “LP” written on it, and proceeded to throw it into the crowd where it bounced around until the end. The band played with a cinematic urgency, creating a storm of people and feelings.

lou_4831While it felt like we were on a roller coaster of emotions with the variance of musical genre from each different act, LP bought it all together with her commanding performance.

The Park Show was unique in its offerings, but so was the crowd. From families with young children and babies, to adults aged well over 60, and everything in between. Music merged everyone together in the best way possible and made for a great day out in the park at The Vancouver Mural Festival.

Review: Melissa Riemer

Photos: Louis Lay

Vancouver Mural Festival: The Park Show


Vancouver Mural Festival is currently in full force for 10 days of art and music. As the festival comes to an end, VMF and Live Nation have teamed up to bring us The Park Show this Saturday!

This year’s all-star lineup includes:

Laura Pergolizzi aka LP, a New York native who has been gracing the stage since the late nineties. Not only has Laura been making original music for over two decades, but she has also written songs for musicians such as Cher, Rihanna, The Backstreet Boys, Leona Lewis, and Christina Aguilera. This singer-songwriter legend will be headlining this year’s Park Show.


BADBADNOTGOOD, an instrumental group hailing from Toronto. The original three members, (Matthew Tavares, Alexander Sowinski, and Chester Hansen), met while attending the Humber College jazz program back in 2010. Ever since, they have been creating jazz music influenced with hip-hop, funk, and electronica. 2016 saw the addition of Leland Whitty on saxophone. Catch this critically acclaimed quartet this Saturday.


iskwē is a Juno Award winning Indigenous singer from Winnipeg who has been making electro-pop music for the better half of a decade. Through her songs, iskwē bridges her cultural background with some of the struggles she has faced. With two albums already released, iskwē will be performing many of her award-winning tracks for The Park Show this weekend.


Jason Sulyma aka MY!GAY!HUSBAND! is a legend in the Vancouver electronic music scene. He has been in the industry for 15+ years and has shared the stage with giants such as: Diplo, Andrew W.K., Metronomy, Samo Soundboy, Diamond Rings, Blood Diamonds, Teen Daze, Neon Indian, Alex of Blue Hawaii. Not only has Jason performed in many of our city’s venues, but he is also the founder of Glory Days, a weekly social event that takes place at The Biltmore every Saturday night. He’s sure to be a great start to The Park Show this Saturday!


The set times (subject to change):

4:00PM – Gates
5:45PM – iskwē
8:30PM – LP

Tickets are still available here – see you all on Saturday!

Throwback: King Princess


We all have that one friend that is quirky, cool af, and all-around badass. Add a killer voice, talented band and captivating stage presence and you have King Princess.

Performing to a sold out show at The Vogue Theatre on Thursday April 25th, 2019, King Princess treated the audience to a mix of tracks off their upcoming album and familiar classics that got the crowd bumpin’.


We arrived to the venue as the opening act finished up, leaving just enough time to find a decent spot to stand among the excited fans. Barely time to grab a drink, the lights dimmed and the crowd goes crazy. King Princess walks out casually in a simple white tee and slacks, following her band – a guitarist, bassist, drummer and keyboardist, the most hipster-cool band I’ve seen.  


Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, King Princess (aka Mikaela Straus) has a soulful voice far surpassing her 20 years of age. Opening with ‘Cheap Queen’, Michaela had us all captivated right off the bat; calm, cool and collected as she playfully teases the audience with her coy smile. Shifting gears to the rock-and-roll vibes of ‘Upper West Side,’ she grabs her guitar and rocks out, crowd still singing along. A casual chat at the end of this song revealed that their second album is close to being completed. In a bold, surprising power move, they launch into the third song, a fan-fave and arguably their most loved song to date, ‘1950’. What a power move. This tune is my personal fave as well, so I was stoked they were playing it so soon. Mikaela is a quirky character, gliding across the stage with sassy little dance moves and taking a drag of her vape as she gets ready to hit the next tune.

After a new song I don’t know the name of, they come out with ‘Pussy is God’ someone in front of me proudly waves a paper sign that says “TOP ME”. Bras are waving in the air, the mood is light and everyone is having fun. Before beginning almost every song, Mikaela playfully says ‘Give it to me Mr. Antoine,” her guitarist who passionately strums away. A special guest, Banoffee (the opening act), pops out on stage midway through ‘Forget About It’. The chemistry on stage was electric and wildly fun. At one point, Mikaela reaches down to the audience, receiving a sex toy from a fan. She laughed deeply and set it down gently on stage.


After performing ‘Talia’, they all exit the stage, but not before a guitarist grabs a film camera and snaps a pic of the crowd. Such a simple move but so damn cool, just like King Princess.

After chanting ‘encore’, stomping their feet and clapping their hands, the audience managed to coax King Princess out for a couple more tunes. The lighters come out for the second last song which brought out all the feels, followed by a sultry, rock and roll tune ‘Ohio’. The spotlight was a glowing, smoky halo around Mikaela, making the moment dramatic and sincere. With a quick wave and drag of her vape, Mikaela exits the stage. The crowd disperses slowly, letting the performance we all just watched sink it. Damn, that was a good show.



Review: Kaeli Finlayson

Photos: Mikhail Din


TANGLERS take Western USA


They have the looks, they have the vibes; it’s no wonder this Vancouver-based group of friends are killing it in the music scene.

Established back in 2016, TANGLERS consists of 6 lifelong pals; which shows in the chemistry they have on any stage they grace. It’s tough to pin them down to one genre, but if forced to laymanize it, perhaps they’re like an “indie/surf rock/psych/grooves to make you move” kinda band.


Currently touring Western USA in support of their newest album, “Tangled In Time,” this six piece ensemble are cruising down to Cali and back, taking over each major city in their way.


987 was fortunate enough to catch TANGLERS‘ tour kickoff show at The Biltmore on the 12th of July. This was the second time we’ve seen them live. We liked the first, but LOVED the second. TANGLERS have proven that hard work really does pay off. Each member added a crisp element to the sounds we experienced in the sweaty basement club that night. They got the crowd moving; including myself, who usually stands at the back with a Bud Light Lime (or equivalent) sporting major RBF. The best part (or one of): the guys on stage looked like they were having as much fun as we were. It’s such a treat to see artists who truly love what they do.


They recently released a music video for their extremely addictive hit single “Tallboy” – which perfectly captures the sounds, style, atmosphere, and vibes that is TANGLERS, check it out:

If you’re ready to get into some serious summer moods, have a listen to TANGLERS (here)



Review: Mikhail Din

Photos: Yasmin Hannah