RBC Ottawa Bluesfest – Day 7.
Headliner: The Band Perry
Weather: Cool, clear, waxing gibbons.
Gogol Bordello: I don’t really go out looking for them, but this is about the 4th or 5th time I’ve seen this band, because they are at every festival ever (it’s a fact!). Not a complaint – if I was booking music for a festival, I think I’d HAVE to book these guys. It doesn’t seem to matter where/when Gogol Bordello plays, they give you everything they’ve got. Punk.
The Paper Kites: A psych-indie pop band from Melbourne, Australia. They had a popular folk-sounding song featured in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy (the one where that sad thing happens at that hospital?) which the crowd knew and sang along. Sounded good, but I thought the band was at their best when they were plugged-in, playing amazing spacey guitar lines and absolutely nailing big harmonies. This band could be a big deal.
Long Tall Deb: I think I’d like to open a bar in Hawaii and hire Long Tall Deb as the house band.
Procol Harum & The NAC Orchestra: Now THIS is how you grow old as a band. Pure class. Gary Brooker is the brains behind this – founder of Procol Harum, lead singer, composer, and arranger of the orchestra an full choir. To tour this size of show is brilliant, requires an insane amount of experience and music IQ and is totally ballsy.
Blondie: An excellent band, excellent songs. They were the perfect band for the perfect time to explode out of New York City. As a live entity though – I really think this band is born from and built for the club. They sounded good, but I’m holding out judgement on live Blondie until I see them some place smaller.
Royal Canoe: Interesting, confusing, quirky, and dense. Royal Canoe are an electronic band from Winnipeg MB. They sound insanely inventive, looked like they were having fun, and came off as a nice bunch of guys through their demeanour and banter with the crowd. Their songs are hard to describe, and I don’t know another band that really sounds like them (that’s a compliment).
Young the Giant: This might just be the Mountain Dew talking, but I gave these guys a rough review once, and I thought they were good this time. Great dynamics – had the crowd eating out of their palms in the lows, and made for some big highs. Kudos to their tour manager, who filled in at the last minute for guitar player Jacob Tilley (broke his arm doing this)
John Mayall: Another LEGEND. John Mayall is a bandleader who has had an insane roster of musicians come through his band over the years: Eric Clapton, Mick Fleetwood, John Mc Vie, Jack Bruce to name 4 (here’s the rest). This show was pure 60’s.
The Band Perry: Possibly the most wholesome show I’ve seen as an adult. These 2 brothers and sisters are pros – and this is a very tightly produced set – it’s almost like watching a teen show about a touring country band. A bit surreal at parts, but ridiculously well performed and executed. The best high-school motivational band on the planet.