Rapper Vince Staples performing at Safe & Sound Music Fest in New Westminster, BC on August 24th, 2018

Live Review: Safe & Sound Music Fest @ Westminster Pier Par (New Westminster, BC) – August 24th-25th 2018

This past weekend saw the return of Safe & Sound Music Fest, which took over Westminster Pier Park in New Westminster, BC, for the second straight year.

The two-day festival saw headliners Vince Staples and Anderson .paak each deliver exciting sets that had the audience bouncing all night long.

Staples closed out the first evening with a raucous, inspired performance wrought with emotion. He danced from corner to corner in front of a video screen made to resemble a wall of televisions as the on-baited-breath crowd looked back in awe, their outstretched hands pumping enthusiastically to each beat. This American rapper is still on the rise and this night he reminded us all why he deserves to be in the upper echelons, closing out shows as a key headliner.

.paak finished off the weekend with another diesel-fueled, high-intensity display. Carrying the crowd through a lead-by-example dance party that was happy and bouncy but peppered with explosive movements and lyrical delivery. Anderson is another musician still climbing to the top. He also solidified with his display why he equally deserves to be an undoubted headliner across the board.

Two additional highlights of the weekend were the sultry and powerful sub-headliner performances by American singers Sabrina Claudio, night one, and Alina Baraz, night two. Both highlighted their vocal prowesses with jaw-dropping presentations that had the rowdy crowd stand still and just stare back in awe. If you are looking to drift away with beautiful vocals, it is a good idea to check out both these talented musicians, they will blow you away.

The weekend wasn’t without its hiccups, day-two saw the cancellation of American rapper Goldlink‘s appearance and the delayed start and resulting hyper-shortened exhibition by Maryland lyricist Rico Nasty, both issues due to travel problems, allegedly.

Despite those two points, overall, the weekend was a blast.

It is nice to see a medium-sized, hip-hip-centric festival outside of the downtown core.

The location of the event makes for beautiful scenery, right down on the New Westminster boardwalk along the Fraser River, the towering Patullo Bridge looking down on the audience from behind the stage.

Let’s hope Safe & Sound can stick around for many years to come. The team behind the event work hard and it shows in the final product.

Thank you to all the musicians and the Safe & Sound team.

Hopefully we will see you again in 2019.

Photos © Jamie Taylor // Cryptic Photography

Day 1

Day 2

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