I was so excited to have the opportunity to cover Riverfest Elora last weekend—a festival that celebrates music and community and one that has become an event I look forward to year after year. This summer marked Riverfest’s ninth year running, and what started as a small, backyard show has become a growing success that has people from all over flocking to the small town of Elora, Ontario.

The first performance I caught on Friday was Saya, a really interesting singer/songwriter from Toronto that I didn’t know much about prior to watching her set. From the first song I heard, I was hooked. Her musical fusion between indie, pop and hip-hop mixed with her laid-back and sexy style was endearing and made me want to hear more. She performed a handful of original tracks such as “Cherry Bomb”, “No Pressure”, and “Wet Dreams”. Saya’s musical style flows through genre boundaries, allowing you to question what it is exactly that you’re hearing. I’m looking forward to finding out what else the young artist has in store.

I moved on to Dine Alone’s “Wax on Wheels” stage to check out Safe as Houses, an indie/folk group from Kitchener-Waterloo. Again, this was my first time hearing of the group, but I was pleased with the show they put on in front of the small crowd. It was an easy-going set that had people in the audience sitting in the grass and bopping their heads along to the tunes.

As the afternoon turned into evening, a lot of the attendees with smaller children started to file out of the park and although it started to rain slightly, everyone else stuck it out for the most part. It was then time for Mother Mother on the main stage, a band I have seen a couple of times, and am always really satisfied with, performance-wise. The Vancouver-based pop rock group has excellent dynamics and synchronization, and always manages to bring out a good crowd that sings along to the undeniably catchy songs. The set was primarily focused on the group’s most recent release, No Culture, and included performances from tracks such as “Free”, “The Drugs”, and “Love Stuck”.

Finally, the headliner for the evening, Monster Truck brought out a large crowd of eager fans. I could feel the energy from the audience while I was in the photo pit, as fans in the front row pressed themselves against the barrier, waiting for the band to arrive on stage. This was my first time seeing the group live, and just as their introduction noted, it is definitely safe to say that the sound is just as big as the name. The mosh pit was up and running pretty much right when the Hamilton-based group started the first song and through the more popular tracks such as “The Enforcer”, “Sweet Mountain River”, and “The Lion”. Overall they played a really solid performance, keeping the crowd upbeat, alive, and ready to continue the night at some of the after parties scattered throughout the downtown area.