As we stated earlier, Tall Tree 2017 was THE BEST! There is something just so special about nestling up in those mountains with a couple thousand of your chosen family, taking in that view, ice cold drinks in hand, while enjoying some of the best music Van Island has to offer. Plus, some out of town favourites to pad out the deal.
DMNW was lucky enough to send a couple friends up to enjoy the weekend, and let everyone know why Tall Tree, Vancouver Island’s not-so-secret hiding spot, is becoming one of the best on the west coast!
We arrived to see Galactic Friday in full effect, and immediately awe struck by the gorgeous views of spectacular mountains that make up the Tall Tree site. We made it to the campsite rather late, so we rushed to set up camp before the dark came (and the inevitable drinks were poured). Shortly after, the site was up and ready for the first night of music to wash over us!
We managed to catch our homies Moontricks shred the main stage, once again. These guys have been a west coast festival staple for a number of years now and it was thrilling to see them in action once again! From there, we moved on to the rave tent, aka the Spirit Stage. Starting with island legend Xavier, he proceeded to play the one of the best sets in the 10+ years we’ve been watching him throw down. With Nostic (of Dia-Nos) on the MC duties, and DMNW writer Jamie Gib and Xavier’s girlfriend Taylor on dance duty, this was one of the highlights of the festival for sure.
Followed by the dudes themselves, Skiitour brought their signature snow to a summer set to the Spirit Stage, taking us through a bass heavy trip through about ten different genres. Then, we recieved a drum n bass education from one of the OGs, Marcus Visionary out of Toronto. The man is a legend, plain and simple, and he proved exactly why during his hour and a half on the decks.
The Spirit Stage closed out by island favourite Outsider, playing his crazy mix of originals and opening with a special intro that you had to see to believe! From there, the sun was peeking out, so we decided to retire to our treehouse fort in our camp site (seriously, you can not make this stuff up) and had ourselves a disco nap. That was just night one? Oh no.
We started our Golden Saturday as one does at Tall Tree, featuring a pizza party with friend of DMNW and all around pizza slut, Mt. Doyle. He played an assortment of his favourite tunes, while a bevvy of gorgeous ladies sold pizza. Honestly, this festival does not get enough credit for how dialed in their events are (big ups to the one and only Emmalee Brunt for the info of all that’s going on!)
Next up was the Zoolander Fashion Show, where we gave the patrons of Tall Tree the opportunity to really show their inner weird in a great fashion show. What was even more impressive is that all of these models knew how to turn left!
Next up, we headed to the main stage for the headliners of the evening. We didn’t get to catch much of Easy Star All Stars as we were deep in an interview with Shapeshifter, but made it back just in time for K+Lab. Following, was Shapeshifter themselves! These were performances you had to be there to experience. K+Lab threw down a funk infused set featuring his live keytar. Then, Shapeshifter came in with their blistering combination of soul, live drum n bass, and roots rock to destroy the main stage!
The rave tent dominated our Saturday night as well (what a shock!) and it certainly delivered. Starting things off was Spirit Stage manager and all around cool guy The Funkee Wadd. His set released through DMNW last week and is available here, along with an interview! Next up, we had west coast heroes Pigeon Hole, who brought their rude brand of west coast bass. They even featured their early days by throwing down some rap!
Afterwards, was Sleeveless Records label boss Stylust Beats with his signature hip hop and bass. We were lucky enough to see him end his set with exclusive bass house tracks from his new side project! Closing out the Spirit Stage was live virtuoso GI Blunt, known both for his eclectic and high energy sets, plus his visuals during the BluntFaktory visuals crew. Thus ends another high octane night full of dance parties and sparkles. The final day was fast approaching!
Sunday funday is a time honoured tradition as it is, but no one does it better than Tall Tree Music Festival! The theme of today was Under the Sea, but judging by the heat I’d say global warming was in control for this one! Our first must see act was of course festival staple, and all around really good dude, Mat the Alien. He was playing us a full set of 45s and keeping the funk alive on top of Brown’s Mountain. If you missed it, you missed OUT. We then trudged up to the Stump and Stone stage to catch one of the highlights of the weekend, the Champagne and Pool Floaty party featuring Illvis Freshly!
These guys, fresh off an already jam packed summer, are certainly a force to reckon with. Bringing on special guests, including a dancing robot, on stage certainly made this a set to remember. Illvis threw down at Tall Tree in 2015 as contest winners, so it was very special to see them rock a booked slot, and boy did they ever deliver!
The Tall Tree stage was the place to be on Saturday night, with surprise notes going to the mighty GoldFish, Jurassic 5 founder DJ Nu-Mark, and alt-rock prodigies Tokyo Police Club! We then ran back to Stump and Stone to catch the final acts of the festival featuring the Lazy Syrup Orchestra Super-jam. The set featured some slick cats on MC duty and even a pantsless K+Lab to round off the evening. Neon Steve then played a 4+ hour set to round off the weekend.
What were some of your favorite moments from Tall Tree? Who was your favorite performance of the weekend? Make sure to throw out what you think in the comments!