We Are the City

Sugar Nightclub, Victoria BC, September 16

Photo: Lindsey Blane

BY Noah CebuliakPublished Sep 17, 2016

For the second night in a row, sound issues plagued a band's Rifflandia set, but We Are the City handled it as gracefully as possible, pulling out monitors on the fly, restarting songs, making it seem all fairly routine for a rock band.
Playing a wide variety of newer and older songs from their catalogue, the band had plenty of the crowd singing along and moving to their stuttering rhythms and Cayne MacKenzie's equal-parts angelic/demonic vocals. Drummer Andrew Huculiak was a dynamo on the kit. On one level, the band's gift to the crowd was their raw energy, which they gave without holding anything back.

On another level, perhaps due to the venue and arrangements of songs, there was no room for vulnerability, subtlety or softness.
The volume cranked up to 10 from the first song and stayed there until the last. Perhaps that's what you have to do if you're going to hold a festival crowd's attention at a burnt-out nightclub — bring an attitude, a defence of intensity against the chaotic night. For lack of dynamics though, the whole experience became somewhat grating and left a bitter taste in the ears. How much that had to do with We Are The City was unclear. It'd be nice if Rifflandia booked them back next year — maybe around a huge campfire.

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