James Murphy & Pat Mahoney Phillips Brewery, Victoria BC, September 12

James Murphy & Pat Mahoney Phillips Brewery, Victoria BC, September 12
Photo: Kim Jay
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In the back parking lot of Phillips Brewery sits an outdoor stage on the first night of Rifflandia, the industrial area impressively transformed into a massive setting of compact, compressed bodies amongst a backdrop of steel brewing vats and a sparse but pulsating light show. It was evident that the milling bodies in the back of the lot were waiting for legends Pat Mahoney and James Murphy to take the stage, and all it took was a few beats of fat, bouncy bass and retro brass for the crowd to react. Billed as two separate acts, they (naturally) rocked the set together, though halfway through Murphy experienced a brief solo moment. The sound change was subtle, moving from honed, pounding bass to a more worldly sound incorporating horns, clips, claps, and chants. Mahoney's return marked the start of funk, received warmly by the crowd, while Murphy adjusted the front stage speakers and communicated with the masses via hand gestures on sound quality. Perhaps the best moment of the night was an endearing, genuine embrace between the two onstage — a testament to the absolute, undeniable chemistry between them.