Day 9 of RBC Bluesfest finally brought some much needed sun and warm temperatures to Lebreton Flats. Along with the summer weather large crowds also descended on the park for anticipated performances by Wide Mouth Mason, Xavier Rudd and MUSE.
Our day started out with some behind the scenes coverage with our friends Midnight Shine. We caught up with them early yesterday afternoon at Record Runner Rehearsal Studios where they were getting some last minute practice time in for their main stage performance at RBC Bluesfest this afternoon.
It’s worth mentioning to any local bands or even bands coming to the city, if you’re looking for rehearsal space that’s affordable and accessible checkout what Record Runner has to offer. This coming weekend the studio will play host to their inaugural “RECORD RUNNER ROCK ‘N RAIL FEST” which will feature 11 bands starting at noon and ending at 11pm. Performances will include bands like Aenigma, Fluid, Drae, Karmacode and more.
Once we arrived at the venue we took in a throwback performance by Wide Mouth Mason. It’s literally been decades since we heard them perform so it was amazing to see them back up on the stage.
After Wide Mouth Mason we spent the afternoon walking from stage to stage checking out various acts including Blackdenim, Hamish Anderson, Dead Bobies, Delicate Steve and the Campbell Brothers. There was no shortage of variety in Saturday’s lineup but nothing in the afternoon grabbed me long enough to stay for more than a song or two….that is until we walked into the Barney Danson Theatre for Jessica Pearson and the East Wind.
Jessica, a local artist, and her band put on an incredible show to a packed theatre. From folk, to country to bluegrass to celtic Jessica Pearson’s show has it all. Unfortunately we only caught part of her set but she’s definitely one I’ll be looking forward to seeing again soon.
Following Jessica it was off to the Claridge Homes stage for another local act, Night Lovell. Unfortunately I was disappointed that I left the theatre where a talented young musician was performing because, in my opinion, Night Lovell had no business on any stage at RBC Bluesfest or anywhere. By far the worst act I’ve seen at RBC Bluesfest in the years I’ve been attending. I’ve got nothing against hip-hop, I’ve enjoyed most of the hip-hop acts that have been on this summer’s lineup but not Lovell. Perhaps it’s my age but I just didn’t get it, ever song ended with either an explosion or machine gun sounds it was hard to watch so as soon as we got our food it was off to a part of the park where we could avoid that noise.
We went down to Bluesville where we anxiously awaited Xavier Rudd. Although not familiar with Rudd before RBC Bluesfest he was an artist that was very much anticipated by everyone we spoke to and once he took the stage we could see why.
Rudd’s performance was so much more than just a show. Using a multitude of instruments including didgeridoos, guitars and a stomp box Rudd’s performance was more on the spiritual plain. It was beyond incredible and the crowds that descended on Bluesville were testament to that as well. The tent was bursting at it’s seams. I for one would’ve rather seen Rudd on the Claridge Homes stage than the noise machine that was Night Lovell.
Earlier in the day young Haliburton based singer / songwriter Cassidy Glecoff was crowned the 2017 winner of She’s the One, the all female emerging artist competition held yearly at RBC Bluesfest. Checkout the music video for her song “It’s Just Love” below.
The night was capped by an electric performance by brit rockers MUSE. I have been a huge fan of MUSE for many years and have heard some amazing things about their live show and have been anticipating the performance since the RBC Bluesfest lineup was announced earlier this year.
Ever song was a spectacle of lights and special effects and just straight up rock. It was sheer musical power that was unleashed like a force on a massive crowd. Highlights for me definitely included their performances of “Madness” and the incredible crowd singalong with their massive hit “Uprising”.
I most definitely did not leave disappointed.
As we enter the final day of RBC Bluesfest, yes it here Day 10, we will be spending much of it behind the scenes with Midnight Shine but you can bet we’ll be out in the crowd for our buddy Tim Hicks and definitely won’t be missing a once in a lifetime performance by the legendary Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Here’s to hoping the weather will hold for the final night! We’ll see you at the Flats! For full lineup visit www.ottawabluesfest.ca