Last night I attended the Capital Festival at St. Ann’s Academy in Victoria, BC. It’s a small free event to celebrate the BC Day holiday. I unfortunately missed Vince Vaccaro’s set because I was still at work. I did catch my fair share of music acts though.

I first took in an acoustic solo set by Ellisa Hartman. A cute soft spoken singer/songwriter. I think I would have enjoyed her performance more if I hadn’t been up since 6:30am. Her set was mostly on the mellow side so I struggled a little bit to keep from fading. And with a smaller audience in the intimate setting of the former catholic school’s chapel, passing out would not have been good idea. She ended her set with a really nice cover of Bonnie Raitt’s ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’.

I then went outside just in time for the last couple songs of Greg Sczebel’s first set. This guy apparently won a Juno this year.  Think a little bit of Jamiroquai  with trying to have a bit of a Justin Timberlake type image, and a little bit of Michael Buble crooning influence all crammed together with mixed results.

Between sets Karly Summers performed some original songs on acoustic guitar. She’s was a bit pitchy, but she’s young (I think about 16). Her singing sounded a lot like Maren Ord to me.

Greg Sczebel then performed his second set.  The family-centric audience seemed to enjoy his performance. There was a lot of pandering to the audience and drawn out extensions to songs that got a bit tiresome and somewhat cheesy to me. Getting everyone to sing along or stand up every other song was a bit much.

All that extra time he took annoyed me even more when Acres of Lions set was cut short. This venue is in the middle of a residential area and the venue didn’t have any extra lighting so a combination of losing sunlight and a 9pm noise curfew was in effect. Acres of Lions were scheduled to play from 7:55 – 8:40pm, but because the previous act went long, they didn’t start until 8:30.  This is the one band that I actually showed up to see and I didn’t see a full set.  I shot two of their songs, but upon viewing my footage, it’s just not worth posting. Not because it was a bad performance, but because the sound setup was a bit weak and much of the audience not being anywhere near the front of the stage.

Overall this mini festival was an odd experience. There were a lot of weirdos in attendance. Not sure if it’s an event I’d go to again.