Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Bluesfest: Week Two

Originally published on Couch Assassin

They say all good things must come to an end. Well they must be talking about the 2015 RBC Ottawa Bluesfest. After 11 days of jam-packed music, a lot of us need a vacation. Or a giant nap. Or maybe that's just me.

Regardless, I took a few days to digest all the music I experienced at this year's Bluesfest. Here are some of my highlights of week two:

FET.NAT. Definitely in my top 5 favourite local acts. These guys don't play shows often enough (in my opinion) so it's always fun to catch them live. They put on a great show at the Canadian stage. Frontman Mononc Jayno was up to his usual shenanigans, as we've come to expect!

Pony Girl. So great to see these guys perform again, especially in an intimate venue like the Barney Danson Theatre, where the sound is fantastic. It was lovely seeing them perform new material from their upcoming new album "Foreign Life".

Current Swell. Perfect summer festival music. One of my favourite discoveries of Bluesfest! Will definitely be seeing these guys again.

Weird Al Yankovich. My expectations were high for this show, and Weird Al did NOT disappoint! A very fun, interactive performance, which included numerous costume changes and video montages.

Purity Ring. Having seen them perform a weeks prior, I didn't expect the show to be as good as the first one I saw. Despite the set starting late (due to the weather), the duo put on a great performance, complete with an incredible stage setup. And the pouring raining definitely added to the magic of the show.

The Tragically Hip. You can never go wrong with the Hip. Seriously. I believe I heard one patron say that one time, Gord Downie played a show sober and it was boring. Well, that definitely wasn't the case Friday night. People were soaked head to toe, but it was worth it, especially since they were celebrating the anniversary of the album "Fully Completely".

MonkeyJunk. These local guys ended the festival with a good dose of blues! Great performance with a big crowd. This band is worth checking out!

Some acts that surprised me and blew me away included METZ, Flight Distance and Run the Jewels.

There were a few disappointing performances as well, including Grime Kings, the Glorious Sons, Gaslight Anthem, Interpol and Lowell. Although I did enjoy Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, it wasn't their best performance that I've seen to date.

In case you missed them, here are my highlights from week one. I was also asked to be a guest on Lunch Out Loud Ottawa and share my thoughts on this year's festival. Check it out: Part 1 + Part 2.

What were some of your highlights from week two? Who would you love to see at the 2016 RBC Ottawa Bluesfest?

Photo: The Tragically Hip. Credit: Mark Horton

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