After two days of damp weather and a questionable (weather wise) start to the day California pop starlets Bahari brought the sun back to RBC Bluesfest on Sunday.
It was one of the must attend days for me at RBC Bluesfest on Sunday and I couldn’t have asked for a better day. From 3pm with Jordan McIntosh until CCR’s legendary front-man rocked the City Stage at 9pm it was a day filled with favourites and some new discoveries…and so much walking that my feet are still sore two days later.
We arrived just in time to see our good friend, and local boy, Jordan McIntosh take to the City Stage. The clouds were there too but there was hope as patches of blue sky were starting to show and even though a brief shower tried to dampen Jordan’s set it didn’t last long enough for anyone to care. I’ve been following Jordan’s career for a number of years now since he was a contender in the 2nd annual Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase way back in 2013. To say he’s come a long way is an understatement, armed with his debut CD and an ever growing fanbase Jordan owned the main stage at Bluesfest like I’ve never seen him own a stage at an event. Even after his set he could be found at the autograph tent for over an hour meeting with fans and supporters.
After Jordan’s set we took a short walk over to the Claridge Homes Stage to catch, California based trio, Bahari. Every year when RBC Bluesfest announces their lineup I create a playlist on Spotify loaded with as many of the artists as I can find. This helps me determine who I want to see and who I’m less interested in. The first track by Bahari I heard was the title track to their, recently released, EP “Dancing on The Sun” and I have to say I was hooked. The melodies and harmony in this song intrigued me to check out more and that lead me to “Wild Ones” and the anti-love song “Reasons”. I knew I had to see this act live and I would not be disappointed. RBC Bluesfest was their Canadian debut and it couldn’t have been better, for the first time in 2 days the sun shone on RBC Bluesfest just as they were performing “Sunroof Forever” a short sprinkle about an hour after they left the stage and summer returned to Ottawa.
Debauche and hula-hoop fan
I had my festival sidekick with me again on Sunday and we enjoyed our traditional Gabriel’s Pizza lunch at the Monster Energy Stage while enjoying the sounds of the Russian Mafia Band – Debauche. I couldn’t understand a word they were singing (they sang in Russian) but yet their set made you want to get up off the ground and make you move…one fan took the whole getting up and moving to a new level and literally did the hula-hoop for the entire set…to the beat of the music nonetheless. Not sure what was more fun, watching her to see how long she could go before collapsing or dropping the hoop (for the record my personal hoola-hoop record is about 1 or 2 rotations…much higher on the Wii-Fit if that counts for anything lol). In the end the music finished before she did and she didn’t collapse or drop the hoop once, #impressed
After lunch we checked out the RBC #Someday exhibit where we enjoyed watching people attempt to win a game of giant Jenga and I even took a shot at John Fogerty Jeopardy style trivia challenge which, even though it ended in a statistical tie, I lost to the judges vote but it was still fun.
Next up was Thomas Rhett on the Claridge Homes Stage. Thomas has been on my “Get Me Some of That” list for a few years now and until Sunday we keep missing each other. As we came up the hill to the main festival bowl we saw that not only did Thomas Rhett show up so did Ottawa’s country music fans! There was still a good 30 mins before his set and the crowd that had assembled was likely the largest of the festival to date. I’m fairly certain, based on his reaction, that when Thomas took to the stage even he was a bit taken aback by the sheer magnitude of the crowd in front of him. The crowd was pumped up and asking Thomas to “Make We Wanna” party like they were on “Vacation” and a party is what they got. Once his show was said and done and I can scratch his name off my to do list and move it to the to do again list I can also “Die a Happy Man” and tell my friends that I too have been there done that and bought the “T-Shirt”.
No time to “Crash and Burn” after Thomas Rhett was done, we had to rush across the field to the City Stage for another bucket list artist, John Fogerty. Having grown up a huge, massive CCR fan I missed John Fogerty the last time he played at Bluesfest 5 years ago but there was no way I was going to miss him this time. And all I can say is wow, somehow in the short time between Thomas Rhett and Fogerty the crowd managed to swell even larger but still I managed to find a space not too far from the stage to witness one of the most epic live performances I’ve seen in years. Kicking off with “Fortunate Son” all the way through much of his and the CCR catalogue including “Have You Seen The Rain” (a rhetorical question because RBC Bluesfest this past weekend got it’s share of rain) “Who’ll Stop the Rain” (the answer to that question was Bahari, they brought the sun back early Sunday afternoon) “Bad Moon Rising” and so many more no words I can say can do this show and this man justice. It was such a thrill catching him on that stage, I can only hope that someday I get another chance…even though, in John’s own words, “Someday Never Comes”.
Looking ahead to Day 5 July 13
4 days in and so far the 2016 edition of RBC Bluesfest has been out of this world. hard to believe we still have 5 more days ahead starting tonight with more country music featuring Ottawa’s Kelly Prescott and superstar headliner Brad Paisley. Tonight is also the kick-off to my unofficial two day Birthday bash at Bluesfest, I turn 42 tomorrow so what better way than to party it up with some of the best music on the planet amongst all you amazing people?
My picks for tonight include the amazingly talented Danielle Allard (Barney Danson Theatre 6pm), Kelly Prescott (Claridge Homes Stage 6pm), Alessia Cara (City Stage 7pm), The Decemberists (Claridge Homes Stage 8pm), Craig Cardiff (Barney Danson Theatre 9pm), Brad Paisley (City Stage 9:30pm). I’d love to get out to the Casino du Lac-Leamy for our good friend Madeline Merlo but at 11:30pm when I have to work at 8:30am the next day and have an hour long commute home might make that a bit difficult. That said I highly recommend that if you can get out there go check her out, you won’t be disappointed and I promise at 12:30 you’ll be saying “I’m Not Ready to Say Goodnight”!
Who are you looking forward to tonight?