Review: Colin Crawford

One of the great parts about Victoria in the summer is the Eventide weekly music series in Centennial Square. The free outdoor shows are hosted and curated by a wide range of organizations in Victoria’s music community. On a perfect late July evening, we had the privilege to sit back and enjoy a great lineup of indie rock over a beer or two.

Starting things off were the local indie poppers Wise Child. The sweet sounds and catchy melodies of this four piece band lured walkers-by to stop and listen. Wise Child’s fun and upbeat stage presence charmed the crowd that started to fill the Square. As they played their latest single “Winter Summer”, which laments the change of the seasons, we all appreciated the summer evening warmth a little more.

Jons took the stage next, serenading the audience with their jangly, lo-fi, surfy sound. Recently returning from their five week cross-Canada tour, Jons delivered slacker jams with effortless precision. Their relaxed, dreamy, understated performance was perfect for the soft light and long shadows in Centennial. Despite coming down with appendicitis just 18 hours before showtime, drummer Keenan Mittag-Degala played through the pain with the aid of a few painkillers and a can-do attitude. Check out their 12 track LP Serfs of Today as well as their Craft Single release Short Swim.

As the city hall bell tower rang out and the sun began to fade, Island Eyes began their set. As the pet project of songwriter and recording artist Derek Janzen, Island Eyes’ seventh release in as many years is a self-titled album. This full length showcases the complexity and thoughtfulness with which Janzen shapes his sound. Joined by four other musicians for his live show, Island Eyes crafts impressively layered and dynamic live tracks. With an intergenerational dance party breaking out in front of the stage, this set was an all-around good time.

The up-and-coming indie-rock outfit Car Seat Headrest closed out the night. Led by 23-year old frontman Will Toledo, the Seattle-based group brought an incredible set to a crowded Centennial Square. There is an awkward, youthful charm and authenticity to Car Seat Headrest’s stage presence. The clever and vulnerable songwriting of Toledo is brought to the forefront by his incredible vocal control, staying exactly an inch from the mic with an unchanging facial expression whether crooning or screaming. Playing multiple tracks off their critically acclaimed new record Teens of Denial such as “1937 State Park” and “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales”, these young musicians provided a captivating rock show. From earmuff-wearing children on the shoulders of parents while this band covered David Bowie’s “Black Star”, to a mosh pit inspiring unoccupied security to intervene, Car Seat Headrest had something for everyone in the crowd.

Check out this free Music Series every thursday evening at 6pm in Centennial Square!
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