RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest – Day 1 by the numbers.

Tonight’s Main Stage Headliner: Tiësto

Party factor: 6. An excellent warm-up, but not into legendary status.

Band 1 was: Ottawa’s own Loon Choir. They are definitely Arcade Fire fans – and it shows (that is a compliment). Big sound and last-day-on-earth lyrics = cool band.

Number of women watching The Melvins: Zero-ish. That’s okay though – every dude there thought they were awesome. I’ve never seen a band seem as completely out of control and then come back together on a perfect note. Their set kept on picking up steam as they went, too.

Number of different genres Fishbone played: At least 10, by my count: 2-tone ska, ska-metal, classic funk, soul, reggae, hard funk, rock, punk, metal, dancehall, hip hop. There were likely others. I also counted at least 10 different instruments played over the course of their set – including a theremin (that’s 8 bonus points, if you’re scoring at home).

I would NOT want to go on after these guys – undoubtedly the most seasoned bunch of musicians on the stage tonight – and I assumed Angelo Moore would be the best singer at this year’s Bluesfest until I saw…

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals: This were a recommendation of the guy who has worked in rock music for 35+ years. Holy crap.

Thank goodness this band – and particularly their spectacular frontwoman – is doing it the right way – touring their asses off, and not doing through talent search TV… because Grace Potter would probably win that.

Minutes until Tiësto had entire crowd dancing: 17. Blew the place up – I get the feeling he knew exactly the moment it would happen. The master.

Not a number: But something Billy Bragg said that blew my mind – The enemy of making the world a better place is cynisism. A very wise man.

Day 2 tee-up: We’re pretty psyched to see Dirty Projectors – mainly because we have no idea how to describe them… and that instantly makes them a band we love! Plus, we just shared a song featuring the Dirty Projectors’ singer Amber Coffman, which was partly produced and created by Diplo – who is performing at Bluesfest on July 14th. It’s not quite 6 degrees of seperation, but it’s… something?

Also, Paul Oakenfold plays tomorrow. There was a month of my life where I ONLY listened to Paul Oakenfold. Tomorrow? Flashback city.


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