RBC Ottawa Bluesfest – Day 2.

Day 2.

Headliner: Zedd

Weather: Perfect.

Today’s Acts:

Darius Rucker: Former lead singer from Hootie and the Blowfish, Darius Rucker was the only pure country act on the lineup tonight. Lyrics aside, actually reminded me a bit of Toby Keith.

Bonobo: A guy I know, who is about 60 and had never heard of Bonobo, nailed it: “sounds like Tangerine Dream playing reggae – I like it!” The live experience of Brighton UK producer Simon Green was brilliant. It was Green w/ 5 other excellent musicians absolutely nailing a greatest-hits set of Bonobo. Live instruments and machines are not easy to play together in a large band, and Bonobo did it spectacularly… often with different pieces of the 6 musicians involved. Green was on stage the entire show, and was just as awesome on stage by himself as with the full band.

The set ended with a track called Flashlight, which I will hunt for all weekend. It will be worth it.

Journey: A throwback to a time where pop music sounded like a mix of this and this. The crowd started happy, and left hammered, and singing along. So, a good show.

Sly & Robbie: These guys are the reason reggae music sounds like it does. Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare are the most prolific studio duo in reggae – and maybe in music. They have produced or played on an estimate (they had to estimate!) somewhere over 200,000 tracks in their career.

Therefore, whatever I could possibly say as a concert review is totally moot. I have no right to criticize most of these bands, Sly and Robbie most of all. The only criticism I could give is that it would have been cool to have Sly & Robbie play in the sun and Bonobo play in the dark.

But whatever – cool show.

Jeff Tweedy: I don’t think it would be a criticism to say that this sounded like Wilco? The Wilco frontman is out touring solo material from his upcoming new album Sukierae. It was tight, technically perfect, and mellow, but intense.

Zedd: I was a bit concerned that this show would be marred by technical difficulties… there was a bunch of activity at the front of the stage before the show started (this guy is just a DJ – what could they possibly be doing?). Then the show started, and it became obvious that they were setting up the biggest light show of the festival: monster digital boards, pyro, strobe lights, the works.

This is the ‘rock and roll concert’ for the generation who spends an average 6 hours a day in front of a screen. It was big, loud, bright, and awesome.

Also very cool that some of the Journey crowd hung in there to get their dance on…


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