A Tribe Called Red Rifftop Tent, Victoria BC, September 18

A Tribe Called Red Rifftop Tent, Victoria BC, September 18
Photo: Kim Jay
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A Tribe Called Red were the final act to play the Rifftop Tent on Friday evening, allowing anticipation to steadily build just like the crowd, which spilled out the sides of the tent and into the impending rain. Throughout the day — from the food trucks to the beer tent to the merch stands and each of the ensuing lineups — the act everyone seemed most intent on seeing was A Tribe Called Red. They even played a second set downtown later in the night.

At this point in their career, it seems impossible that A Tribe Called Red would play a bad set. Their ability to incorporate and transcend a variety of genres while maintaining a powerful voice is reflected in the diversity and magnitude of the crowds they draw, and that has rapidly propelled them into dominating the festival circuit. Sure enough, taking the stage in the Rifftop Tent and dropping right into "MoombahWow," they played solidly and without speaking, instead delivering heavy bass as they pulled from their self-titled album and Nation II Nation.

After a set that included pulsing through Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Working For the Government," they finished up with a rendition of "Suplex" that was overlaid with a bit of Johnny Cash. Through it all, front and centre, an eight-year-old with enough passion and energy to sustain the crowd and ATCR for hours was dancing furiously against the barrier — perfectly exemplifying the group's wide-ranging effect and appeal.