Vancouver singer-songwriter Kylie V, stepped onto the stage with an acoustic guitar and a nervous smile that instantly captured the audience’s hearts.
“This is my first show outside of Vancouver,” they said before stunning The Drake Underground into a collective daydream. Their songs place their soul on display offering an endearing vulnerability. The 19-year-old is a fixture in the Vancouver music scene, as audience members mouthed the lyrics back to the performer, it’s clear their influence was felt in Toronto surprising the emerging artist themselves. Their raw talent and sound have a way of mesmerizing way of centring attention to the lyrics. The few stumbles in the acoustic set immediately had the audience captivated and cheering for more. The artist’s ability to connect with the crowd through their music was truly remarkable.
While other artists often grow tired of their breakout single, 21-year-old Tik Tok sensation, Quinnie pauses the show to showcase gratitude.
“We wouldn’t be here without this song, thank you “Touch Tank,” she said before the crowd erupted. The 21-second song snippet quickly introducing her breakout single to the world is a much-needed ode to sexual connection through the lens of comfort and the female gaze. Despite being sold out, the intimate setting allowed for an up-close and personal experience that truly highlighted the artist’s quirks. From soulful ballads to the upbeat pop hit responsible for sending everyone into the crowd into a trance, the artist’s versatility kept the crowd engaged throughout the entire performance and made it clear she is an artist here to stay.
Day two of Riot Fest brought a new type of energy. The Misfits wouldn’t take the mainstage until 9 pm but that didn’t stop fans from showing love through clothing and makeup. By the time JXDN took the stage, it was clear Misfit T-shirts were the trend of the day.
JXDN, singer and TikTok personality, has gathered quite a dedicated fanbase since his entry into music back in 2020. Droves of fans braved the heatwave and planted themselves at the mainstage long before his set time to be as close as possible to their current fav.
Luckily for them, Yungblud would take that same stage just hours after. With a new album released earlier that month, there was a new excitement to the performance. Of course, the UK rocker knows exactly how to give the crowd what they want. The staples, dancing, twirling, jumping and whatever else one could think of were most definitely present in Yungblud’s set. Amid the frenzy, he stopped the show to speak about the fight for women’s rights in Iran.
The Joy Formidable has a way of building a moment you crave until it’s over…and then crave it more. Their music has always been perfect for capturing a feeling and turning it into a moment to be transported back to with each listen. Their live shows are a way to immerse yourself in that place and cling to that collective feeling only they can create with their sound. The band has a way of commanding attention. The sound pulls you in, their stage antics begin energetically and build until they are thrashing, seemingly lost in their own sound along with fans.
Meanwhile, all the Canadians were piling into what felt like a secret Alexisonfire showcase. Of course, it wasn’t JUST Canadians, though the army of Pup T-shirts did add to that assumption. The St. Catherines band is more often seen playing venues like The Budweiser Stage, however, Riot Fest offered fans an intimate live show. Performing on one of the more modest stages gave an extra flicker of excitement. As the sun began to lower, the antics and trashing began. The band sang the sundown and fans moshed the evening into the night.