It’s hard to believe we’re already coming to an end of the 2016 edition of RBC Bluesfest. It feels like just yesterday that the lineup was announced and yet here we are going into the final day!
Week 2 kicked off with perfect weather and large crowds for Alessia Cara, The Decemberists and Brad Paisley. The party kicked off with two incredible local ladies who unfortunately were on at the exact same time, Kelly Prescott and Danielle Allard but that didn’t stop Sean Sisk from snapping some shots of each of these incredible artists.
I arrived on site just in time to hear the last of Alessia Cara’s set and based on the sound of the crowd she was just the right act to get things warmed up for the headliners to come. This young lady has seen a lot of success so far in her career and I expect that success to continue for a long time.
My first stop was the Monster Energy Stage for a drink and bite to eat, Gabriel’s of course, where Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar was busy blowing the roof off the stage with her incredible voice. Seriously this woman has been compared to Janis Joplin and that’s most definitely a just comparison. The power coming from Samantha’s voice was unlike anything I have seen in years and made for one heck of a show. Will definitely be watching for her at future shows and so should you.
Next up was Oregon based, The Decemberists. As the lead off band for Brad Paisley it was their job to draw the crowd to the main bowl and keep them there and that they did.
The evening’s headliner needed no introduction to the massive crowd, Brad Paisley quickly took control of the crowd and took them on a journey through the country with guitar heavy country rock! There was no where near enough time to cover all of Paisley’s hits but he did manage to crank out a solid number of them much to the crowds delight. We even had an engagement on stage during Brad’s set as well as an on-stage visit by Ottawa Senator Erik Karlsson.
Day 6, aka my 42nd Birthday was planned to be a huge Birthday bash featuring Sam Hunt and Meghan Patrick to name a few. Unfortunately my work had other plans for me that day and by the time I made it home there just wasn’t much point to me switching vehicles and driving into Ottawa to catch a train or bus down to RBC Bluesfest to maybe catch some of Sam Hunts set. Instead I enjoyed an evening with my family who haven’t seen much of me in the last week or so. But Sean Sisk was there and captured all the incredible moments from the night. Stay tuned for photo highlights coming tomorrow!
I had every intention of heading to RBC Bluesfest for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and made it all the way to Ottawa with more than enough time to head down to the show. Unfortunately fate stepped in and decided that a punctured tire on my van and the lack of a spare would ultimately end my night before it began, almost stranding me in Ottawa. In the end I made it home and, again, Sean Sisk was at the event to capture the show. Checkout our social media for photos and be sure to check back tomorrow for more photos here!
Finally made it back to RBC Bluesfest, this time with no technical issues and talk about an awesome night. I started the day early with my final two shifts on the Green Team. I was really surprised by the number of people that approached me yesterday thanking me for volunteering and doing what we do to keep the grounds clean. I can honestly say it’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done and I tip my hat to everyone who volunteers every summer at this incredible event.
I wandered the event grounds all day and came across a number of incredible acts from the Blues stylings of Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne to the incredible local dancers of the Flava Factory. There was a steady rumour circulating around Ottawa for the last few days that Drake would be joining Future at RBC Bluesfest but as the time came for Future’s set it was clear that it would be Drakeless.
Local boys The Lionyls were on my watch list for some time now and I was definitely impressed with their soulful set on the City Stage. They attracted a decent sized crowd and definitely set the mood for the headliners to come. Will definitely be keeping an ear on these guys and watching for a future show to checkout.
From what I got from the crowd the most anticipated act of the day was Nelly. The crowd started filling up the main bowl a good hour before he took to the Claridge Homes Stage and once he took to the stage with Canadian flags waving the crowd went crazy. I wasn’t certain whether or not I’d actually enjoy Nelly’s set but I did. What surprised me the most was when he covered Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise”, I’ve seen many a country artist cover hip hop and rap but have never seen a rapper cover a country artist (that said I can’t say I’ve been to many shows by rappers either). The final verdict? Yes I’d see Nelly again.
Growing up Duran Duran was the glimmer in the eye of most of the girls I went to highschool with. Sure I knew their music but could never figure out what the major draw was to this band…until last night. 8 days into the 2016 RBC Bluesfest and Duran Duran and John Fogerty hold the tie for my favourite performance to date. What an absolutely incredible, magnificent show. They even managed to grip me with the songs I wasn’t as familiar with I was blown away and truly hope to get another opportunity to see them again in the near future.
Day 9 – The Final Night
It all ends tonight with City in Colour on the City Stage. Also on the bill today are the PepTides (3pm City Stage), Bombino (4pm Claridge Homes Stage), Amos The Transparent (5pm City Stage), leMeow (6pm Claridge Homes Stage), The Zolas (7pm City Stage), Brock Zeman (8pm Monster Energy Stage) and Bryan Ferry (8:30pm Claridge Homes Stage).
Headed out the door for the final night of RBC Bluesfest but will have more photos from the last 4 days added tomorrow as well as a full review of the final night!