Lights Rifflandia, Victoria BC, September 16

Lights Rifflandia, Victoria BC, September 16
Photo: Lindsey Blane
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Clearly, Lights hasn't seen the 1994 college movie PCU or she just doesn't care, because she wore the shirt of the band she went to go see. Actually, she wore a hoodie from her own merch booth, the band she is in, one so oversized that she essentially used it as a dress.
 
She later revealed the possible reasoning for this decision. Ditching the hoodie long after the photo pit had cleared out, she had on a kind of mini jumpsuit, which she referred to as a "piece of shit" that she made herself, but it was on her bucket list all summer to make something she could wear onstage, and she was determined to do so, even if it blew apart. Lucky for her, it seemed to hold up just fine.
 
Style aside, Lights had a very polished pop sound, even though guitarist Aaron Grant was apparently a late addition. Lights referred to his "night of no sleep" to pull off this show, though she noted Grant had been a part of her tour for the 2012 album, Siberia. If she hadn't mentioned anything, you likely wouldn't have noticed as Grant meshed well with the bass and keys of Adam Weaver and the drums of Nanaimo's Maurie Kaufmann.
 
The show was all about Lights, though and it's easy to see why she can't stop winning Juno Awards when you hear her sing. Her sonorous voice is as strong as her electropop vision. Certainly, her rendition of "We Were Here" from her 2017 album, Skin & Earth, was as anthemic as anything Bishop Briggs performed on the same stage the day before. Yet, there seemed to be something lacking in her performance.
 
Lights moved around the stage like you'd expect a pop star to, engaging different sections of the crowd and gesturing at all the right moments, but it seemed rather obligatory or over-rehearsed when she did it, similar to feeling I get watching Emily Haines from Metric perform. Lights seemed more candid when she spoke between songs. That said, in addition to being Lights' first Rifflandia, this was her last tour date of the summer, so she may have been exhausted, as she mentioned she was.