RBC Ottawa Bluesfest – Day 9.
Headliner: Snoop Lion
Weather: Sunny, clear, hot.
Action Bronson: I have heard over and over that to really ‘get’ Action Bronson, you had to see him perform live. This is true. While his most recent album Saaab Stories is a hart-hitting, next-level hip-hop bass assault, it is his freestyle-style, constantly ‘on’ rapping performance that made me believe the hype about this guy. Among the best rappers out there, and a guy who gives you everything he’s got in a performance. If you get the chance, a must-see.
Deltron 3030: Hard not to compare this show against the last time they came to town, which featured a choir and a chamber orchestra. This was not that show. But, on it’s own, this was a very inventive, hard-working, fast-paced set from Dan the Automater, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, and Kid Koala.
This was a much busier sounding, festival rock show; complete with guitar, bass, drums. In the bigger rock-band high-points, Montreal’s Kid Koala’s skills shone. Is there a better artist at making noise from scratching records out there?
Not the best show Deltron 3030 I’ve seen, but still worth seeing!
AWOLNATION: Tons of energy and enthusiasm. Well performed. This band needs more material though.
Little Freddie King: New Orleans Blues; Freddie played a full set of down-and-dirty blues and boogie. I’m not much of a Blues historian, so don’t get angry if I’m way off here, but he reminded me of John Lee Hooker.
Nostalghia: An interesting setup for this L.A. group: A drummer, an electric cello, and a singer who is dressed like she’s in a movie about vampires. Somewhere between Bjork’s darker moments, Asian pop (it’s the cello!) and Nine Inch Nail’s Pretty Hate Machine years. Interesting.
Childish Gambino: Who knew Childish Gambino had that many songs?!
A HUGE crowd greeted Donald Glover’s alter-ego and flourishing hip-hop persona. His show was surprisingly jammed. He took very few breaks and seemed to cram 20 or 30 tracks into his hour-long set. He came with a full rock band and made much better use of what a rock setup can do to a crowd than most hip hop artists. His rapping seemed to be right on rhythm and right on pitch.
Snoop Lion: I would absolutely guarantee that Snoop gets a bigger crowd reaction out of playing “Jump Around” than the House of Pain ever did, or ever would. It’s astounding. The most laid-back, un-energetic hip hop frontman of all time has cast some sort of magic spell that makes his crowds participate more than any other I’ve seen. When Snoop politely asks the crowd to throw they hands in tha muthafuckin air, they do it. They all do it.
Maybe it’s more the ‘hip hop’s greatest hits’ library that a guy like Snoop Lion can genuinely play; he’s released 12 top-30 albums, 127 singles, and 7 mixtapes – and that’s not counting his collaborations with other artists. And maybe it’s the ‘everybody smoke weed!’ stage persona that get everyone that pumped up. But, Go see Snoop Lion sometime and tell me you’ve seen a crowd participate more than at his shows (you haven’t). Truly incredible.