By Prachi Kamble
Westminster Pier Park
September 3, 2017
New Westminster – Labour Day Long Weekend was a scorcher but the debut of New Westminster’s first R&B music festival brought some sweet relief with a heavyweight musical line-up.
The daylong festival drew a steady crowd that easily tripled in size by the evening. Conveniently located in the heart of New Westminster, the independent venue had everything a festival lover could asked for overlooking the tranquil Fraser river flanked by the elegant geometrics of the Patullo bridge.
With national radio stations currently smitten by Jessie Reyez’s minimally produced elegiac pop songs, the Safe & Sound audience seemed impressed with her rapping skills, soul pieces and painfully personal lyrics. Armed with her guitar for the most part, Reyez awed the crowd with a sincere performance that she seemed to draw from the depths of her wild tresses.
The success of Reyez’s set can no doubt be attributed to her youthful and energetic performance but also from the cooling sunset as it drew crowds out from under the shaded areas and towards the stage – something K-OS unfortunately did not have much luck with. The Canadian rap veteran jokingly expressed his disappointment at the size of his crowd but put on a high quality show nonetheless that included his greatest hits and a hype man who is probably the envy of every rapper in the land.
Headliners Majid Jordan did not disappoint although they did receive the short end of the stick timing-wise as their set wasn’t able to go longer than 40 minutes to meet the venue’s curfew. Their visuals, which featured scenes of space, went beautifully with the full moon and refreshing night air. They managed to play fan favourites and threw in some new material from their new album set to release this fall to keep things exciting.
The second grand surprise of the night was DVSN who sustained the largest and most engaged crowd of the day. Their set consisted of slow and thick ballads that evoked all the romance and sensuality of 90’s R&B. With talented back up singers and colourful lights, DVSN’s show was the highlight of Safe & Sound. The day showcased other local talent as well including Tonye, Prado and Hayleau while DJ Flipout and SJS filled in the gaps with a great mix of current and classic hits.
For fans of R&B and hip hop music, Safe & Sound Music Fest was a cosy treat and there is no doubt that it will attract greater attention and feature an even more power-packing line up for years to come.DVSN, Jessie Reyez, k-os, Majid Jordan, New Westminster, Safe & Sound Music Fest