I arrived to Rock the Shores yesterday in true Victoria fashion, On bicycle. A beautiful bike ride on the Galloping Goose to get to a rock festival, what cou
ld be better? Oh, the fact that they give VIP entrance to bikers because carbon neutrality equals superiority.
After dropping my bike off valet I headed to the VIP line up. An unbelievably short lineup in comparison to general entrance which had a lineup doing laps all over the front field and through the parking lot.
There was lots of chatter of last years Rock the Shores in the line up. Not many kind words were said about that event. Which to be fair, was the first year. There were a few set backs, but nothing that couldn’t be addressed and improved upon for this year. Due to the immense turn out yesterday it’s apparent that the good people of Victoria have faith in the organizers to learn from last years mistakes.
Stepping onto the grounds, it doesn’t take long to get your bearings on where everything is, it’s a pretty simple lay out. I head into the beer gardens where I met some of the most pleasant and helpful volunteer staff. Nothing starts off your festival day better than volunteers that are just pumped to be there, way to pick em’ Rock the Shores!
Local band Acres of Lions takes the stage first. The crowd at the front of the stage was shockingly small in comparison to the amount of people I had seen in the lineup to get in. However, I noticed that the majority of the audience within the grounds had opted to sit on blankets rather then crowd the front of the stage. Which led me to judge them as some of the laziest rock fans ever.
It wasn’t until someone pointed out how slowly people were being let in did it make sense for the small sized turn out for Acres of Lions. Apparently this year bag check is being taken incredibly seriously, so if you plan on coming to Rock the Shores, remember this golden rule; be there early.
Acres of lions did a great job of starting things off, they’re high energy pop rock set the tone for the rest of the afternoon perfectly. It’s disappointing to know that so many people had to miss this performance because of being stuck in a line-up. Acres of Lions is one of those bands that has improved every time I see them and I end up liking them more and more.
Be still my preteen heart” I thought as Jimmy Eat World took the stage next. I reflected back on those early high school years of listening to them as I walked from class to class. Seems odd to be seeing them now, I really never thought I would get the chance to.
Again, another fine performance at Rock the Shores with a tragic turnout. Although there was the added benefit of having what felt like a more private show withJimmy Eat World as not everyone had made it onto the grounds yet. More room for my thrashy spastic dancing.
Another fun thing about the Jimmy Eat World show was watching lead singer, Jim Adkins shirt change from blue to dark blue just from being so soaked in his own sweat. It was an incredibly hot day.
As 54-40 took the stage I retreated away to sit down and watch. From my new perspective I realized the interesting difference between festival goers in the beer gardens and festival goers not in the beer gardens. The audience is split down the middle so those wanting to drink have access to one half of the stage and those festival goers not interested in drinking get the other half. It would appear, from my observations, that those in the beer garden react much more dramatically to music, they yell more and their dancing is a little less coordinated.
While 54-40 wasn’t the band I was most excited to see at Rock the Shores, I was still thoroughly entertained by there performance and impressed by there ability to engage with there audience. Although having been a performing band since the 80’s I did expect them to know a thing or two about live performances.
By the time 54-40 was done I think it would be safe to say that everyone had made it onto the festival grounds. It was noticeable. Getting up from your spot to try and get anywhere else suddenly became a huge hassle as you had to swim your way through tightly packed crowds of people whospill their cider on you making you sticky for the rest of the evening.
The Sheepdogs gave an awesomeand memorable performance. Listening to them was like getting into a time machine and going back to the 70’s. The band’s sound and look is so authentically nostalgic, that if you instagramed a photo of them performing and showed it to a friend you might be able to convince them that you are a powerful wizard with the ability to travel back in time.
After The Sheepdogs the night took a much mellower turn of events with Mathew Good giving a not so memorable performance and then closing the night; City and Colour.
City and Colour is a band I feel I will always enjoy seeing live, Dallas Green has the voice of an angel and the girls weeping in the front row know it.
A good day for Rock music in Victoria, and the best part is we get to do it again today
Review by Clorisa Simpson
Day 1 photos by Arnold Lim/News Staff